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Karen and Jeff Haggen


Karen and Jeff Haggen

Karen and Jeff Haggen

Family Gives Back to Honor One Doctor's Exceptional Care

When Matt Haggen was born in California with severely clubbed feet, his parents, Karen and Jeff Haggen, researched the best treatment options for their son. Their research lead them to Dr. Vincent Mosca, a nationally recognized orthopedic surgeon at Seattle Children's. They moved back to their hometown of Bellingham, Wash., so 3-month-old Matt - and Dr. Mosca - could begin the decades-long process of straightening Matt's legs at Seattle Children's.

Six surgeries and countless follow-up appointments later, Matt has strong legs and an amazing attitude that stretches back as far as Karen can remember. "When Matt was 5 and recovering from surgery that put him in two full-leg casts, I left the room briefly and when I came back he was gone. He was so determined to play he dragged himself over to the neighbor's sandbox!"

"I owe so much of what I've been able to do to Dr. Mosca," says Matt. "Take hiking, I never would have been able to do that." Matt also learned to ski and played football and baseball. Through the years, Matt and Dr. Mosca became good friends and still keep in touch.

Karen and Jeff have included a bequest in their will to the Dr. Vincent Mosca Endowed Fund to support research for musculoskeletal disorders. "Jeff and I wanted to honor Dr. Mosca and thank him and Seattle Children's for changing Matt's life," says Karen.

As a young philanthropist, Matt collected aluminum cans and used the proceeds to buy children's books for the hospital. Recently, his fraternity at the University of Washington hosted a fundraising walk to benefit greatest needs at Seattle Children's. When asked how to inspire others to give, Matt says, "You can change the entirety of a kid's life. Whether what you do is small or large it has a big impact on them."

This is not professional tax or legal advice. Donors must consult their tax and legal advisors regarding their specific situation.