Article from our 2020 Spring Fulcrum News
Braving the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic is a calling from God for Rasika Sigara, a registered nurse at Swedish Medical Center who takes care of patients moved to the Psychiatry Unit from the COVID-19 unit.
“This is why I’m here. A lot of people have fear about serving those who are sick, but I’m willing to because I have a strong belief, from my going to Catholic school, that God gave me this opportunity and He always guides me. Every single day I feel good about it,” explained Rasika.
Rasika is a single mother of two Seattle Catholic high school students who are Fulcrum Tuition Assistance Grant Program recipients and are now, with the COVID-19 school building closures, getting their educations virtually.
Gemini (who goes by “Gem” with a hard “G”), Rasika’s daughter, is a senior at Holy Names Academy, deciding which college she’ll attend in the fall. Rasika’s son, Sandesh, is a freshman at O’Dea High School where he enjoys swimming in the 50-meter freestyle race.
Both teens are profoundly inspired by two things: their mom and their Catholic education that Fulcrum aid supports.
“I would look at my Catholic school education and support from Fulcrum as a way of getting a different perspective. You see how God has a plan for you and how He can guide you through your low points and bring you to your high points,” shared Sandesh. “It means so much to me that as a nurse, my mom is courageous and brave enough to expose herself to what can be really scary because she wants to help people.”
Gem continues, “Some people think that if you’re Catholic, you’re rigid. But it’s not true. I’m more compassionate to people because it gives you more perspective. I’m so proud of my mom’s compassion going to work each day knowing she might get sick.”
St. James Cathedral is the “church home” where Rasika, Gem, and Sandesh practice their faith as a way of life.
“The teenagers have been ‘Faith Mentors’ for children with special needs, Gemini has been an altar server, and Sandesh is known for being one of the cathedral’s best youth readers. They are like extended family to us,” says Theresa Van de Ven, who leads Faith Formation at the cathedral.
Rasika says her “cathedral family” helped inspire her to become a nurse after she immigrated to the area. “The cathedral is always there for me and is one of the many miracles that has happened in my life.”
As for the thought of being a health care hero, Rasika sees it as her clear calling. “Patients need us right now and at the end of the day I feel like I did something, thanks to God, who gave me this opportunity.”