Advocates and All-Star Volunteers

Meeko Garcia and Andrew Funk are a couple who live with intent and purpose. They know their values and they are conscious of the impact they want to have on their community.

They volunteer and give. They’ve become wholehearted advocates for the leading-edge science at the Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) and the compassionate community at Bailey-Boushay House (BBH). Meeko even participates in research by donating blood to BRI’s Healthy Volunteer Biorepository, despite an aversion to needles.

Growing up, both watched family members fight through the hardships of autoimmune related diseases. Andrew’s aunt passed away from Huntington’s Disease.

“Funding research is the only way we’re going to change what a new diagnosis means for someone’s quality of life and their future,” says Andrew.

Meeko lost his grandmother to complications from Type 1 diabetes and his aunt has Lupus.

“If someone were to ask what legacy I have left for future generations, I'd love to tell them I supported BRI and helped beat autoimmune diseases,” says Meeko. “And because so many also gave, there’s a cure.”

Andrew and Meeko also believe strongly that everyone deserves dignified personalized medical care. At BBH, they admire the staff who show up and give each person the time and support they need to know their life matters. And through their gifts, they honor the resilience of each resident who leans on their BBH family.

“Once you hear how Bailey-Boushay House validates the lives of everyone in their care, no matter what their background is or who they are, it’s easy to understand how deeply important giving to this lifeline is,” Meeko says.

“So many people who support inclusion for the LGBTQ community and who want to change stigmas around people who have experienced homelessness, don’t know about BBH. But as soon as they do, they’re instant supporters,” says Andrew.

Every year, the couple looks for new ways to bring more supporters into the Virginia Mason community. Together they host a table and serve on the Swirl event committee, raising funds for BBH.

Andrew has brought fundraising for BBH to his workplace giving program. And Meeko, who works for Virginia Mason through Northwest Purchasing Partners, organizes an internal team for the Boeing Classic.

“Every person with autoimmune disease deserves better treatment. Every BBH client deserves care and compassion,” says Meeko. “We'll do as much as we can for as long as we can to support that.”

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