We’ve Got Their Backs

Little Amelia and her parents, Bonnie and Brian, are old friends of Gift of Life Family House.

Amelia and her parents, Bonnie and Brian, have stayed with us plenty of times on their transplant journey.

Six-year-old Amelia has been through a lot since she was diagnosed with Alagille syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterized by abnormalities to the bile ducts that harm the liver and other parts of the body.

She had heart and kidney surgeries even before her liver started to fail. After a liver transplant in 2016, she developed PTLD (Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder) for which she is now undergoing chemotherapy. This complication and treatment means more visits to the hospital.

When she and her family come to Philadelphia for these visits, they stay here at the Family House. On Amelia’s first visit, right after her liver transplant, she spotted the child-sized Adirondack chairs on our patio. It was too cold and snowy to sit there then, but on a return visit in the spring, she was really looking forward to them. To her surprise, the chairs weren’t there!

Amelia happily sits in ‘her’ chair to relax after a long day of doctor’s appointments

Amelia asked one of the staff members, “Where are the little tiny girl chairs?” The staff member replied, “They’re not out there?” Soon, the chairs were back in place and Amelia happily claimed “hers.”

Her mother, Bonnie, says: “Even on the days that are difficult for Amelia, she talks about sitting in ‘her’ chair. And so the patio is somewhere we can go with her at the end of the day where she has a little time to sit in her chair and just relax and refuel for the next day.”

For Amelia, the Family House is a safe and welcoming place in between the “ouchies” of her medical care. For her parents, Bonnie and Brian, it’s an oasis of peace where their burdens are lifted—both financially and emotionally. They are grateful for hot meals cooked by friendly volunteers, cozy rooms and restful surroundings, and access to a whole community of people who truly understand what they’re going through.

“When you’re at that point of fear and anxiety — things that come with the unknown — there’s somebody that’s got your back. It doesn’t make anybody’s individual situation better; their difficulties are going to be just as challenging, but to know somebody’s got your back is meaningful.” explains Brian.

Whether it’s having access to a fully stocked pantry and tasty leftovers if they miss the evening meal, or toiletries they forgot to pack, the Family House is a safe and comforting haven for them. “We don’t lack for anything here,” says Bonnie.

News & Events

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Ashley decided to donate a portion of her liver to a member of her church.

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NASRCAR's Joey Gase visited the Family House to help raise awareness of organ and tissue donation.

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When he was finally able to leave the hospital's care, the Family House became Asher's first home.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Pledges to Support Family House

Jefferson Hospital made a $250,000 pledge to support transplant families at the Family House.

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Nicole became her mother Donna's caregiver and together, they navigated the transplant journey.

Corporate Spotlight: Laundry Made Easy

Our friends from Hercules Laundry generously donated five new washer and dryer sets!

Getting by With a Little Help From our Friends

As part of our Caregiver Lifeline Program, we bring in therapy dogs to spend time with our guests!

The Flight For My Life

Karen's life-saving transplant relocated her and her family over 350 miles from home.

#FacebookFUNdraiser: Anthony Vetrano

Learn why Anthony decided to host a Facebook fundraiser for the Family House!

From Hospital to Home

"My stay at the Family House gets better each time," says Lauren, a past Family House guest.

Grown Up and Giving Back

Read about Mya, a liver recipient and employee, and her experience here at the Family House.

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The Hess and Palmer families come together to celebrate the life of Mason Hess.

Family Close By

“Having my wife nearby was especially helpful to my recovery,” Tim says.

#SupporterSpotlight: Facebook Fundraisers

Did you know you can hold an online fundraiser to support the Family House on Facebook?

Gift of Life Volunteer Recognition Ceremony

Gift of Life Family House honors volunteers at the Gift of Life Volunteer Recognition Ceremony.

Peter Mansaray, father of a heart recipient and past Family House guest.

A Father & Son Journey

"...by the time we left [the Family House], I left with a whole family.”

Legacy Society members Elizabeth and David Kennedy.

Leaving a Legacy

David and Elizabeth are leaving a legacy with planned gifts to the Family House.

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