A Passion to Help.

The Ability to Deliver.

The Rypien Foundation continues to strive to provide HOPE for children and families suffering from childhood cancer since 2004. With over 100,000 served in the Rypien Foundation Children’s Emergency Center since 2013, this is our passion and our purpose.

andrew rypien school program

- For a child to succeed in school can be challenging even under the best of circumstances. Imagine how much harder it is after a diagnosis that requires hospitalization, treatment, and often long-term care. The Andrew Rypien School Program at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital provides much-needed support for pediatric patients, as well as their parents, so that children with serious medical issues have the resources to keep up in school. Staying connected to school, including each student’s teachers and classmates, is important. It builds self-confidence and self-esteem. It creates a sense of independence and empowerment at a time when a child can otherwise feel powerless. It inspires creativity and motivation. As a result, overall well-being improves, which, in turn, supports healing.

- The Andrew Rypien School helps reduce the chances that children will be held back in school, or worse, will drop out before graduating. Both are higher-than-average risks for children under long-term medical care. The School also helps reduce stress among parents, who are often at a loss about how to coordinate schoolwork for their child. The School assists parents and their children with staying connected to schools and class assignments, facilitating modified lesson planning and delivery to accommodate each individual student. The School staff will also help to ease re-entry into regular school following treatment. Through this school program, we can assure that medically fragile children under long-term treatment at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital will have the resources they need, to have every opportunity to succeed as students.

rypien foundation children's emergency center

Ground Breaking Ceremony

Nearly 25,000 patients utilize the Rypien Foundation Children’s Emergency Center each and every year; that equates nearly 100,000 children and families who have experienced the specialized care since its opening in 2013.  Families can take advantage of a completely separate waiting and treatment area for children.  Not only can we make sure that their unique medical and emotional needs are being met with expert care from nurses and doctors skilled in pediatrics, we can also take away some of the fear and anxiety associated with emergency room visits. And that goes a long way toward helping these families on their road to recovery.

current initiatives

Family Advocate
The Rypien Foundation funds a full-time and a part-time pediatric oncology Family Advocate position at Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. Pediatric oncology social workers help a child and his/her family cope from the moment of diagnosis through the end of treatment. They help families adjust to the diagnosis and changes created in their lives, in addition to helping the child and family maintain a “new normal” way of living. Social workers also provide direct emotional support and emotional interventions, help identify resources, and advocate for the child and family needs. Additionally, social workers help families navigate through the medical system, bridging the connections between the family and the medical team.
Arts in Healing
Each year the Rypien Foundation provides funding to the Arts in Healing program at Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. Through this program, patients and siblings are afforded the opportunity for creative expression through visual art. Additional modalities include jewelry making, creative writing, visual art, and therapeutic art.

Music Therapy
The atmosphere in the Pediatric Oncology wing can often be full of tension and stress as children and their families wait for uncomfortable procedures, intrusive lab draws, frightening chemo treatments and uncertain visits with doctors. For these children and their families, the Music Therapy program provides a much-needed distraction from the anxiety associated with cancer treatment and helps to create an atmosphere more suited to healing.


Music therapy not only reduces stress and provides an outlet for emotions, it’s also been proven to help increase the self-esteem of patients.

Sheldon Maul Courage Fund

It’s easy to see how someone could become bitter and withdrawn after being diagnosed with cancer. What takes infinitely more courage is to face that diagnosis with a kind and generous spirit that will inspire everyone around you. In the 20 years he was on this earth, Sheldon lived every single day to the fullest, and he did it wearing a smile on his face that was as powerful as it was contagious. As a way to honor that inspiring spirit, we have established the Sheldon Maul Courage Fund to help provide financial assistance to children and their families who are battling cancer. The Emergency Travel Assistance program helps children with especially rare or aggressive forms of cancer afford to travel outside of Spokane for the specialized treatment they need. By providing these children and their families with the financial assistance to go seek the treatment, the Sheldon Maul Courage Fund is helping to give these courageous children the hope they need to have a fighting chance at the kind of life Sheldon inspired all of us to live!

Smiles Program
The Rypien Foundation established the Smiles Program to offer free orthodontic treatment plans to pediatric oncology patients and survivors. The Rypien Foundation covers all the hard costs for each patient’s customized treatment plan and relies on the generosity of a group of qualified local orthodontists to donate their time and services. All orthodontic care is then offered free of charge to the patient.

Oral Care Fund
The Oral Care Fund assists child cancer survivors who are struggling with severe dental issues as a result of their prolonged cancer treatments. By providing much needed funds to cancer survivors who require dental assistance, the Oral Care Fund can help these children move past their disease and give these inspiring children their smiles back.

Family Support Night
Each month, the Rypien Foundation underwrites family support nights. These evenings offer emotional support and education to Pediatric oncology families, family togetherness and connection among families going through similar cancer experiences. There are activities for the kids and parents to share, have fun, and build supportive relationships.

Temporary Lodging
Certain circumstances may require patients to stay overnight when receiving treatments; for families who travel long distances this can cause a real strain to their finances. To help lessen this strain, the Rypien Foundation works with the local Holiday Inn Express to provide hotel accommodations for these families. Since 2006, the Foundation has provided over 1,000 night stays for families.

Entertainment Activities
The Rypien Foundation understands the importance for families to maintain social and recreational activities. To promote family togetherness, the Foundation provides families with tickets a variety of fun events throughout the region.

past initiatives

Children’s Cinema
The Children’s Cinema was designed with one thing in mind: to bring sick children together with friends and family in a relaxed atmosphere, and provide a distraction from the anxiety associated with cancer treatments - if only for a short respite. The large 1400 square foot space was chosen so all patients would have the opportunity to attend events in the cinema, including children in wheelchairs and hospital beds.
IV Backpacks
IV Backpacks were funded by the Rypien Foundation to provide mobility to children during chemo so that they are not tethered to an IV pole. These packs hold the IV pump and chemo treatments so that children can move around. Providing kids with the opportunity to be up and out of their hospital bed goes a long way to brightening their day.
Audiology Equipment
Many oncology patients are at risk for hearing loss due to either chemotherapy, antibiotics or other events they may experience during therapy. By having audiology equipment at the hospital, parents no longer have to travel to other locations for hearing tests.