Elizabeth Adams

UK Social Worker Surprised with 2013 Make-A-Wish Medical Professional of the Year Award

Published: Mar 4, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2014) - A day as a fighter pilot, a swim with dolphins and a trip to the Big Apple are only a few of the wishes Rachel O'Farrell has helped the Make-A-Wish Foundation grant for children battling cancer.

 

O’Farrell received a special moment of her own Feb. 27 when the Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana staff surprised her with the chapter’s 2013 Medical Professional of the Year honor. The UK HealthCare social worker is a referral source for Make-A-Wish, an organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

 

Make-A-Wish arranged a surprise reception to present the award to O'Farrell at the Kentucky Clinic. She was congratulated by her co-workers in the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic and Make-A-Wish chapter staff. Special guests Brendan, O'Farrell's husband, and their 8-month-old son Finn also attended the party.

 

O'Farrell has gone over-and-above to help create magical experiences for as many as 30 young cancer patients at UK pediatric hematology/oncology clinic. Make-A-Wish staff members were especially impressed with O'Farrell's recent efforts to help one ailing patient and her family. The patient couldn't decide on a wish and the family didn't own cellphones, so communication was an additional challenge for Make-A-Wish coordinators. O'Farrell served as the point of contact for the family and helped the teen communicate her wish - a family trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

 

"Rachel fully embodied our mission with this wish by approaching every situation with the frame of mind of, 'how can we make this happen for the child?'" Kim Pettingell, senior medical outreach manager for the local Make-A-Wish chapter said. "We were able to make this wish come true because of Rachel's assistance and sincere dedication to seeing her patient experience the power of a wish.”

 

Typically, Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana honors its Medical Professional of the Year during its annual BIG Wish Gala held in August. O'Farrell was unable to attend last year's gala because she was on maternity leave. She is the first medical professional in Kentucky to receive the honor from Make-A-Wish.

 

As part of the award, O'Farrell received a photo album containing pictures of the many children she has referred to Make-A-Wish. A social worker at UK for nearly four years, O'Farrell said many children and families "latch on" to the Make-A-Wish experience. She presents the opportunity to all of the patient cases she manages and takes time to listen to each family's unique story.

 

"I was just doing what anyone in my position would do," O'Farrell said. "I take a lot of meaning from the work I do. I am constantly inspired by the resilience of these families and these kids. The way they make meaning out of their experience is rejuvenating."

 

For more information about referring a child to Make-A-Wish, contact Kim Pettingell at 877-206-9474 or visit www.md.wish.org.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

rachel_and_finn.jpgrachel_walk_in.jpgrachels_party.jpg
August
 
1
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Mon
2
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Tue
3
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Wed
4
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
End of the Summer II 2016 Eight-Week Session
Thu
5
 
Fri
6
 
Sat
7
 
Sun
8
 
Mon
9
 
Tue
10
 
Wed
11
 
Thu
12
 
Fri
13
Parent and Families Open House
Sat
14
 
Sun
15
 
Mon
16
UK Women's Forum Board Meeting
Tue
17
 
Wed
18
 
Thu
19
K Week Kick-off
Off-campus Freshmen Check-in
Parent and Families Reception
Fri
20
New Student Induction Ceremony
Big Blue U
Getting Around Campus and Beyond
Campus Ruckus
Sat
21
UK Lex-Mart
K Team Lunch
Late-night Target Run
Sun
22
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
Dinner with your K Team
Mon
23
We Are UK
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
Campus Tours for K Teams
Tue
24
First Day of School Photos
First day of classes of Fall 2016
Wed
25
Pedalpalooza
First Day of School Photos
Thu
26
OCSS Wildcat Block Watch
Fri
27
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Red River Gorge Adventure Trip for Out-of-State Students
Music Workshop for Teachers and Students: Michael Chandler
Flight 5191 Tenth Anniversary Memorial Service
Sat
28
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sun
29
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Mon
30
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Last Day to Add a Class for Fall 2016
Last Day to Withdraw to Receive 80% Refund
Tue
31
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Wed
 
 
 
Reset Page