Fastpitch Cares was formed in 2012 after two members of the softball community were diagnosed with severe E. coli.
Over the Easter 2012 weekend, Bailey Marshall and Vanessa Brown were infected by a deadly strain of E. coli bacteria (E. coli 0157) after drinking contaminated raw milk. Within days of ingesting the milk, both girls were admitted to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and were under the care of the Pediatric Nephrology team. Without the expertise and life-saving efforts of these specialists, their story may have had a very different outcome.
After diagnosis, the news spread quickly in the softball community of the seriousness of the girls’ condition. Cards and gifts began pouring into the hospitals rooms, and meals started to appear at the homes of both families. Softball teams throughout the community made banners, posted pictures, even made stickers to wear on their helmets during the games.
During their stay at OHSU and the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, the need for further advanced medical equipment became apparent. Fastpitch Cares organized a one day fundraising tournament. With a large amount of support from the community, the tournament was a success, on and off the field. A raffle, silent auction, and live events helped to make the day fun and enjoyable. In the end, Fastpitch Cares was able to donate $28,000 to the Nephrology Department (Kidney Specialists) and the Pediatric ICU at Doernbecher.
The Nephrology Department purchased six machines to monitor patient blood pressure on a 24 hour basis, which will help 2 to 3 thousand patients a year. The Pediatric ICU purchased devices used to allow doctors, parents, and children communicate with each other when verbal communication is not available. We are pleased to report that all of the equipment is in constant use and much appreciated!
Building on this success, Fastpitch Cares is once again ready to face the next challenge – The Knight Cancer Challenge!