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
November
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
College of Pharmacy Open House
Iron Pour
UK Women's Choir 20th Anniversary Concert
Adventure Hiking & Rappelling @ Red River Gorge
Pickin' Time Mountain Music and Harvest Day
Purposeful Retirement: Planning Your Next Stage of Life
Diwali Dhoom 2014
Sat
2
UK Percussion Ensemble
Day Hike
Curator Tour: Take My Word For It
Sun
3
Industry Career Week: Resumes and Cover Letters
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Morehead State
Mon
4
Industry Career Week: How to Impress Your Boss in 90 Days
Rock Star Professionalism Series
UK Lab Band
Tue
5
Industry Career Week: Networking and Job Search
Social Enterprise and Innovation / Certified Nonprofit Professional Program Informational Meeting
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Appalachian Forum with Dr. Fran Ansley
Dana Harper Gallery Reception
Wed
6
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Zona Sur
LNFS Presents: The Grand Budapest Hotel
UK Jazz Ensemble
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Abstract Workshop
Lauren Potter
Thu
7
LNFS Presents: V for Vendetta
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Circle of Love Name Distribution
R.C. May Photography Lecture Series: Marvin Heiferman
Men's Soccer vs. Charlotte
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Georgia
Free Friday Evening Swing Dance
Fri
8
Kentucky Football vs. Georgia
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
The Power of Poetry
The Lexington Lowdown and Free Lindy Hop Workshop
Swing Dance Featuring Live music by"The Metrognomes Orchestra"
Sat
9
UK Combos Concert
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Missouri
Sun
10
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Mon
11
UK Sax Ensembles
Job Club - Interviewing Strategies
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Jose Abisambra Presentation on Current Alzheimer's Research
Women of the World: Judy Smith
Tue
12
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Reservoir Dogs
Refugee Life in America
#UKEDTALKS: International Opportunities for Education Majors
Leadership Assessment
Wed
13
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Iron Man 3
Chili and Pie Cook-Off Supper
#TrendingTopics: Vegetarians vs. Meat-Eaters
Campus Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics KY
LNFS Presents: La Demora
Thu
14
LNFS Presents: Pretty in Pink
LNFS Presents: Mean Girls
Fri
15
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
16
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Florida
Greek Cinematography: Critical Approach and Discussion
"Storied Streets" Documentary Showing about Experiences of Homelessness
Sun
17
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
UK Rep Bands Concert
College of Agriculture, Food & Environment 2014 Celebration of Land-Grant Research
Amanda Rogers, "Black Flags, ISIS 'Swag' & Jihadi Rap: Marketing Militancy after the Arab Spring"
Stories of Homelessness: Panel Discussion
Mon
18
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
A Positive Approach to Caregiving Conference
Education Abroad Open House
CatWatch Party
Appalachian Forum and Film Screening of "Up the Ridge"
Tue
19
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
LNFS Presents: The Princess and the Frog
Pinterest Party
International Games Day
Global Design with Phil Duncan
Caregiver Support Group
OXFAM Social Issues Banquet
Wed
20
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You
LNFS Presents: The Big Lebowski
International Education Week Keynote Speaker: Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at USAID
Tobacco-free Tailgate 5 Year Anniversary
Bollywood Night
Thu
21
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: Water For Elephants
4th Annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging & Dementia
Freedom from Fear: On Black Childhood and Other Dangers
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
MEAT.
Fri
22
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
23
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
UK Symphony Band and UK Concert Band
Sun
24
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Mon
25
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Job Club - What is your money habitude?
Multicultural Student Thanksgiving Dinner
Tue
26
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Wed
27
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Thu
28
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Fri
29
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Arkansas
Sat
30
 
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 
Reset Page