Mission and History

Gift of Life Family House was created to provide a unique service for area transplant families.

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Mission Statement

Gift of Life Family House serves as a “home away from home” for transplant patients and their families by providing temporary, affordable lodging, and supportive services to those who travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for transplant-related care. Gift of Life Family House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.

History

gift of life donor program offices
Gift of Life Donor Program offices located just a couple of blocks away from Family House.

For more than 44 years, Gift of Life Donor Program—a federally designated non profit organ procurement organization—has served as the link in Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware, connecting patients awaiting organ and tissue transplants and those who donate these precious gifts of life.

Since 1974, Gift of Life Donor Program has coordinated more than 46,000 organs for transplant and approximately one million tissue transplants that have resulted from Gift of Life donors.

Recognizing the critical need for affordable accommodations and supportive services for transplant families, Gift of Life Donor Program and the Transplant Foundation collaborated to open a unique lodging facility for transplant candidates, recipients, family members, and living donors. That facility, Gift of Life Family House, officially opened its doors to transplant families in July 2011 in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia.

A World Leader

Gift of Life Donor Program is the leading organ procurement organization (OPO) in the United States for the 10th consecutive year, with the successful coordination of life-saving organs from 565 organ donors in 2017. These selfless gifts resulted in 1,546 organs transplanted—the most organ donors and transplants of any OPO in the nation in one year. It represents an ongoing legacy of new beginnings from grieving families to those awaiting the “gift of life.”

In the Gift of Life service area—eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware—there are over 5,400 individuals waiting for a transplant, and it is likely that these candidates will have surgery at a transplant center served by Gift of Life Donor Program. Yet, many others living outside of this service area must travel to Philadelphia’s world-class hospitals for such treatment.

Meeting a Need

While transplant outcomes have improved, the anxiety and challenges associated with the transplantation process continue to significantly impact each family member both emotionally and financially. Transplant patients and their families experience a great deal of stress and anxiety during their journey toward the gift of life. Endless hours of diagnosis, treatment, and waiting for the call for an available organ, false hopes when an available organ is not an ideal match, and the financial burden of medical treatment paired with time away from work are just some of the trials they face when a transplant is the only answer to a life-threatening diagnosis.

Gift of Life Family House was created to provide a unique service for area transplant families.

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