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MD27 Peace Poster & Essay Contest Winners.............................. 2 Diabetes Alert Day .................................................................. 3 Help Hope House .................................................................... 4 District News ......................................................................... 5 Recruiting Club Officers ........................................................... 16

MD27 NEWS January 2014

The House With A Heart
by Cindy Herbst, Restoring Hope Tansplant House Executive Director & Co-Founder - 608831-1726 or restoringhope@tds. net This past year has taught us that the fragility of life has a way of giving special meaning to living life to its fullest. In the Restoring Hope Transplant House’s first year of welcoming more than 80 transplant patients, caregivers and families, we have shared in both the greatest of joys and the most agonizing of losses. It is not unusual to celebrate one night and have our hearts ache the next. Through it all, we have discovered that no matter where life’s journey takes us and no matter how many obstacles lie ahead, we can always find ways to take joy in each day and give thanks to those who have enriched our lives in so many ways. As we reflect upon family and loved ones,we can’t help but think of our expanded family of guests who have visited Restoring Hope Transplant House this past year. Their journeys, their stories and their families have all become our own. Thank you all for leaving us with so many precious moments that will never be forgotten. We think of you often. As the House continues to spread roots in the transplant community and fills to capacity on a regular basis, we have found that the majority of our time is spent doing what we think we do best and that’s caring for those who need us the most. As a non-profit, there is a very delicate balance of heartfelt care giving and funding that must be maintained in order to sustain the long term future for the benefit of others. As such, the future of this healing home depends on the financial support we receive that allows us to care for families. To give you a better idea of what the Restoring Hope Transplant House means to the patients, families and caregivers here is the Adams family’s story in their own words... My brother, Jim Piper, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in May of 2013. After his first round of chemo and subsequent weeks in ICU, it became clear that the only choice for his survival would be a bone marrow transplant. And so began our journey. Jim’s best chance of surviving a bone marrow transplant was with a sibling donor, but the idea They quickly decided to tell their children about Jim’s existence and illness. They met with Jim’s sister, Heather, the Monday after we first spoke. She was told she had an older brother and told that she might have a chance to save his life. Heather agreed to be tested as a possible donor immediately. We waited for weeks, and then got the results that she was an identical match. She agreed to be his donor! The rest of the story. As soon as Jim was diagnosed in May, our family, in shifts at first, and finally our parents, relocated to Wisconsin from California. Mom and dad have been caring for Jim for six months in a very isolated situation. As soon as we moved them all into the Transplant House things began to change. The Herbst family brought much-needed friendship and care to the family. Others in the house shared their stories. For the first time we realized that we weren’t all alone in this. Some of the fear dissipated. The Transplant House was a wonderful place for Jim to spend time and get to know his new family. During the course of treatment, Jim’s birth mom and sister each made two trips to Wisconsin and were greeted as family by all. So much healing has taken place there. During the darkest days of the transplant, our mom and dad had a warm, safe place to go and rest. They were encouraged every step of the way. Pots of soup, blankets, snacks and water for long days at the hospital were shared with the love of a family. As we have moved past the crisis time, my family has begun to encourage others who are coming to the Transplant House. The Restoring Hope Transplant House is a beautiful gift that the Herbst Family and the many donors have given to all of us. We are grateful beyond measure. With much love and gratitude, Julie Adams To be able to provide the occasional home cooked meal, heat this large house throughout a chilly Wisconsin winter, re-stock the shelves with supplies and to work towards major renovations so that we can one day welcome even more families is only possible through donations that help transform what was once just a dream into a reality for others to enjoy.
Turn to HELP HOPE HOUSE on p. 4

GUESTS AT THE HOUSE ENJOY THEIR SURROUNDINGS & THE SUPPORT they get from the staff and other House guests. Here two guests show off photos of their grandchildren.

of Jim having full siblings never seemed possible. Jim was adopted at six weeks old and all we knew of his birth parents was that they had been in their teens and were unwed. I began searching for them right away. I knew Jim’s birth date and county of birth and that his mother had chosen the type of home he should go to. She wanted a middle class, loving, protestant home with siblings, and preferably one with music in the home. She even chose the outfit

he should wear when he came to us, so we knew there was some real care taken. With the help of the Alma Society, I was able to find Jim’s birth family and made contact with them on June 22nd. I spoke with Jim’s birth parents, Allan and Sharon. Their reaction was one of joy and concern. I found out that they had wanted to marry and keep Jim but since they were teens they were made to give him up. Years later, they married and had more children. Jim had a full brother and sister!