Eric Margules 2015-10-14 21:09:28
Imagine you need a kidney transplant— imagine the anxiety and stress of putting your health in someone else’s hands. Now imagine traveling to a new city to get the operation, knowing you don’t have—or can’t afford— a place to stay during your recovery. This is the situation facing many people who travel to Madison, Wisconsin, for transplant operations at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and lack the resources or social connections to secure housing while they’re in town. Transplants are complex surgical procedures that typically require significant time for recovery and preparation, so having a place to stay is essential to a successful operation. Thankfully, there’s hope. Since January 2013, Restoring Hope Transplant House (RHTH) has been a home away from home for patients who are in the Madison area to receive medical transplants. The home provides up to six weeks of temporary housing for transplant patients— and their adult family members and caregivers—in an environment that offers compassion and supports healing. And it works. In fact, it works so well that there often aren’t enough beds for potential residents. After learning that the house was experiencing weeks at a time without vacancy, the Lions from Multiple District 27 D1 decided to help. In addition to fundraising, Lions secured a $75,000 Standard grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) to help fund an expansion of RHTH. The first phase of RHTH’s expansion plan, completed in the summer, includes the renovation of the current patient rooms to include double and twin-sized beds, as well as the improvement of a community kitchen, on-site laundry and other amenities. With the second phase of the expansion plan, set to begin in the near future, RHTH hopes to expand its capacity from five private rooms to 16, dramatically increasing its ability to serve patients in need. After years of fundraising and with contributions from 10 different districts, Lions’ and LCIF’s contributions have helped RHTH secure more than $200,000 of the more than $1 million required for the expansion. “We are so grateful for [Lions’] support of transplant families and Restoring Hope Transplant House,” says Cindy Herbst, executive director and co-founder of RHTH. “We are beyond words with your extremely generous donation that will allow us to expand this home. The stories of our guests are moving and powerful. Having the Lions as partners gives us greater courage, resolve, compassion and energy to do the right thing in serving others.” For information on Standard grants and to find out how your Lions club can apply, visit lcif.org.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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