A Sea of Teal

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If you knew Sarah, you’d get it.

Once a week, Umpqua Health goes teal. Almost every employee in each of Umpqua Health’s many departments wears a teal T-shirt to work. Not just because teal is Sarah’s favorite color, but because it makes the gold ribbon pop.

The teal shirts are a show of support for an Umpqua Health employee whose three-year-old daughter, Adrian, is battling cancer. Gold ribbons are the international awareness symbol for childhood cancer. When Sarah learned about Adrian’s illness, she immediately began thinking of ways to show support for the family.

“I just knew I couldn’t sit by and do nothing. That’s not who I am, and that’s not what Umpqua Health is all about,” said Sarah Fanugao, the Clinic Manager of Umpqua Health – Newton Creek.

Sarah took it upon herself to organize the creation T-shirts for Umpqua Health employees, so Adrian and her family knew they weren’t in this fight alone. Sarah enlisted the help of a very crafty coworker, Nicole Pritchard, who made Sarah’s vision a reality. If you’re surprised that one person was the driving force behind an effort that included making over 150 shirts and coordinating the creation of this support network with each Umpqua Health department, all in a matter of weeks, don’t be. Sarah is a dynamo and a doer, and this was something she knew would make a positive impact.

“This little girl is fighting a battle most adults couldn’t handle, the least we can do is let her and her family know that we have their backs,” said Sarah.

The front of the shirt says “Fight like a Warrior,” and the back says “Adrian’s Angels” with golden wings, but the most striking thing isn’t the shirt itself but the sea of teal you’ll find at Umpqua Health once a week.

“It’s just a way for this coworker, this family and most importantly this little girl to know that we are here for them through this fight,” said Sarah. “It’s a visual way to say you’re not alone: Umpqua Health is here for you.”

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