St. Mary’s Day of Life


You can help save lives by taking part in the latest St. Mary’s Day of Life on Friday, Oct. 2, at the Red Cross, 250 W. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk. Please join St. Mary’s staff and teachers, as well as families of St. Mary’s residents, as they donate platelets. Cancer and organ transplant patients need platelet transfusions to help their blood clot, preventing massive blood loss.

“I’ve given platelets several times now, for the simple reason that many people give blood: it’s important to those who need it,” said Mary Helen Hilton, St. Mary’s director of annual giving. “This time, I go with a new awareness and special reason. Some good friends of our family received news just after July 4th that no one wants to hear: their 5-year-old son was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. … He depends on platelets for his life.”
Contact Soozi McLain, head of St. Mary’s physical therapy department, at (757) 622-2208 ext. 346 or smclain@smhdc.org to find out more about St. Mary’s Day of Life. That’s Soozi above, demonstrating how easy it is to donate platelets during a previous St. Mary’s Day of Life (photo by Kathy Brobst, physical therapist assistant). Only one arm is used for platelet donation, and you can bring a DVD to watch on your own private TV.
St. Mary’s physical therapy department coordinates platelet donation about every three months. The department already has succeeded in filling eight spots together in the morning on Oct. 2, but you can sign up for any time during the entire day. For more information about donating platelets, see this Red Cross website.

Working Out With SMHDC’s Head of Physical Therapy

Soozi McLain is head of the Physical Therapy Department at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children. She’s also a physical fitness fanatic; working out relieves stress and gives her the strength and endurance she needs to lift children and young adults every day as part of her job. 

The May 4 issue of Inside Business magazine features a profile of Soozi in its “Inside Fitness” feature. You can read the article here.
This month, Soozi will ride in her 11th MS 150-mile bike ride to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis. You can support Soozi here. Mary Helen Hilton, SMHDC’s director of annual giving, is part of the same team. You can support Mary Helen here.

Putting the PT in PeanuT Butter

A salmonella outbreak at a peanut plant unfortunately has scared people into not buying peanut butter. When Soozi McLain, director of physical therapy at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, recently read an article about how this has depleted supplies of peanut butter — a much-needed staple — at food banks, she knew she had to do something about it.

Soozi and the PT Department at SMHDC have just finished up a peanut butter drive at the Home. They collected 61 jars of the gooey stuff to drop off at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.
Community service is nothing new to PT. The department has been involved in many projects, including adopting a family for the holidays, collecting money for mosquito nets to help stop the spread of malaria in Africa and coordinating the donation of platelets by St. Mary’s staff to the Red Cross every three months.
In the photo, Soozi McLain, left and Anne Freeman, right, hold the peanut butter collection box while surrounded by some PT staffers: from left, Nicole Ellis, Jennifer Reasor, Kathy Brobst, Barbara Graeff-Taylor and Rebecca Lowrance. PT staffers not pictured: Lynn Regna, Rhonda Bailey, Judy Peltz and Jackie Reese.