Restoring Hope
July 2018

We would like to thank Dottie Donor Dot for visiting Restoring Hope Transplant earlier this summer. It was so wonderful to catch up and visit with her during her recent stay. While she may be a woman of few words, Dottie is one of our all-time favorite visitors and easily one of the most popular amongst our fellow housemates, as you can clearly see. We also appreciate her tireless efforts around the house during her stay.
Thanks so much for all you do to support the transplant community, Dottie. Your efforts are appreciated by our entire transplant family of guests which now reaches all parts of Wisconsin, 36 different states and even a handful of other countries.
In honor of Dottie's visit, we ask that you please take a moment to learn more about organ , tissue and eye donation to determine if registering as a donor is right for you!
Brian Home After Bone Marrow Transplant
Our Own Battle With Leukemia
RHTH Executive Director Cindy Herbst's husband Brian went into UW hospital on June 6th for a biopsy and the start of heavy chemo in his battle against Leukemia.  They went in with great spirits after spending the previous two days in Door County, walking trails and enjoying peace and natural beauty near the water. Calming and soothing things.  A perfect choice for the days to come.  On June 12th Brian was blessed to get a perfect 10 out of 10 match of bone marrow from an anonymous donor.  While we have lived this journey several times through family and our RHTH guests, it still boggles the mind how amazing this process really is!

Shortly thereafter, Brian was the sickest we have ever seen him.  Something we really had not seen in the induction phase.  Blood counts were also very low so he was getting platelets daily, magnesium and blood. Complete exhaustion. 

His spirits were were steady throughout as progress was oftentimes slow and tiring.  Each two steps forward were seemingly followed immediately thereafter with two steps back until late June when he finally seemed to turn the corner.

The medical teams at UW Hospital were beyond what we could have asked for.  Their actions and kindness consistently touch us to our core.  We cannot say enough about them and the care and compassion they provided to Brian and our entire family throughout our stay.  Such a blessing to feel genuinely cared for as a human and not just a patient.  Those interactions, attention to detail, patience with anxieties and concerns really made all the difference in getting through each and every day.

What a blessing it also was for Cindy to stop into RHTH each morning for breakfast during their stay at UW where she spent each night at Brian's side.  Those early morning coffee and breakfast conversations with your transplant family are so absolutely meaningful before heading in for rounds and to visit a loved-one.  There were many days when those visits were the wind in our sails.  We cannot thank everyone enough for how much they rallied around us and this house during our own time of need.

Brian was released to head home on July 6th - exactly one month from being admitted.  There have certainly been some ups and downs since returning home including a recent bout of vertigo, but we were all so very grateful and relieved when his first follow-up biopsy came back cancer free!  We are so thankful for your support and kindness throughout this journey!
Homeward Bound: Longest RHTH Stay Ever
Married Transplant Recipients Head Home After 9.5 Months at RHTH
It was both very sad and exciting to see our friends Ben and Liz get clearance to head home this month for the first time in nearly 10 months of staying at RHTH.  Ben was the first simultaneous heart and liver transplant recipient in UW Hospital history.  During his lengthy stay, wife Liz had a pancreas transplant of her own to help ease a lifetime of diabetes related issues that were becoming more and more of a long-term problem. While they will undoubtedly be back for check-ups and such, it will definitely take some getting used to without their presence here at the house.  Great friends with an incredible transplant story who have shared this home with so many of our other families this past year.  We join a very long list of your housemates in saying thanks for everything and best wishes as your journey continues in the LaCrosse area.  You will be missed here at RHTH!
A New Kidney For Alabama Family
In Their Own Words: The Hale Family
I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping my family during this. God placed people like you guys on the earth for a reason. To help, heal, and love. I appreciate you all for being there not only for my dad but for our family and as time goes on we will NEVER forget what you have done!

Thank you!

-Cory (kidney transplant caregiver son)
Our First Kidney Autotransplant Family
When Steffanie (Salem, IL) showed up at our door one day with husband Kevin, it marked the first time since opening our doors to guests in 2013 that we have hosted a patient who underwent a kidney autotransplant.  We have met transplant families from all over Wisconsin, 36 different countries and even a handful of other countries but to our knowledge this was our first.  It was interesting for a house full of guests to sit around the dining room table and learn more about what Steffanie had been through and her hopes for this transplant giving her a life free of constant pain. 

While this may not be Steffanie's story, it was a local news story done a few years ago about a young lady with the same type of transplant who also had Dr. Sollinger as one of her surgeons.  This video will help you get a better idea of all that kidney autotransplantation entails.

While staying with us after the procedure, Steffanie's husband Kevin received horrible news early the other morning that his father passed away back home in Illinois.

Kevin volunteered to help us re-shingle a portion of the roof here at RHTH...a much needed project we had been working on for a couple days. Even after the devastating news, Kevin was eager to help us finish the job just before the rains came. He even left a personal message to his dad under our final main shingle: 
"To the first of many projects I do in your name (honor) -Kevin"
Thanks for everything friends and best wishes back home.  This was a huge project for this house and our entire transplant family of guests. Thoughts with your entire family during this very difficult time!
From Near and Far: Our First Guest From Spain!
Our friends from Alabama thought they had a long trip to get to Madison...until we had a young lady fly all the way from Madrid to stay with us this month while she was visiting her mother at nearby UW Hospital.   
Pretty incredible the things we all do for the people we love in their time of need.  Our continued best wishes to friends like Lisa who are still going through some things and a tip of the cap to the family members and friends who so willingly and lovingly do whatever it takes to support their loved-ones.
Lions & Lioness Clubs Making a Daily Difference at RHTH
We appreciate Joan Cary (writer/assistant editor for Lions Club International) for visiting recently for an upcoming feature story on Restoring Hope Transplant House and how so many Lions Clubs statewide and beyond have embraced Restoring Hope as a home that directly benefits each and every one of their communities even though it may not be directly located in their town.  The Lions have been such a blessing for this house over the years and where there has been a need since Brian was diagnosed with leukemia this year, there has ALWAYS been a Lion eager help with whatever was necessary. We appreciate Joan's time and interest in sharing the word of RHTH throughout the Lions community and appreciate all they have done for this house collectively! 
On the same day as Joan's visit, our friends from the Fond du Lac Lioness Club, Van Dyne Lioness Club and the Madison-Monona Lioness Clubs were also here doing volunteer cleaning work around the house and even donated a couple new vacuums and provided a great lunch. It truly is incredible how so many Clubs statewide and beyond have embraced this House and our transplant families as their own.   
Thank you all so much for a great day and for always supporting and inspiring us in all that we do here at RHTH on a daily basis!

In The News: Illinois Leos Donate to RHTH
Hometown Proud: Supporting The Good Neighbor City
Middleton, Wisconsin: In The Middle Of It All
All of our long-term RHTH guests grow to truly love all that Middleton has to offer, especially this time of year when The Good Neighbor City is at its absolute active best.  Pictured here are just some of the many local stops our guests have made recently.  Our Alabama friend Mr. Hale, just a couple weeks after receiving a new kidney transplant particularly enjoyed his visit to the National Mustard Museum.  Not only did he enjoy all the Museum had to offer, but he was really touched to learn that one of their employees was actually a kidney donor to her brother.  We appreciate her kindness and her taking the time to share her story during our visit!  We look forward to many more Middleton stops in the coming month...stay tuned!
Longtable Beer Cafe Making A Difference In The Community
We appreciate Andrea for taking the time to visit Restoring Hope Transplant House this week and present a check to Executive Director Cindy Herbst with the proceeds from their Community Burger at the Longtable Beer Cafe.

Restoring Hope Transplant House was their local charity of choice for January and February and many of our guests this past winter made the trek down to support the cause.  We are extremely grateful to everyone who got behind this cause and also supported one of our great new local dining spots in the process.
It Takes A Village To Raise A Home
We cannot thank Bollig Best Lawn Services of Verona enough for regularly volunteering their services to RHTH.  What a blessing these guys have been to us over the years.  Please know how much we appreciate your efforts and kindness!
Facebook Birthday Fundraisers: Thank You!
We received a check a few days ago from Facebook related birthday fundraisers totaling more than $1,200.  We appreciate all of you who have taken the time to think of RHTH while celebrating your special days.  The thought alone means more than you can imagine, but the amount of money you all continue to raise through this platform has been quite amazing and greatly appreciated.  Thank you all!
Save The Date: Upcoming 2018 Events
Join us for the 3rd Annual Cory's Gift Run/Walk for Organ Donation! Help us celebrate Cory's life and his gift of life while promoting something near and dear to our hearts - Organ Donation. Proceeds to Poynette/Dekorra EMS & Fire Department, Restoring Hope Transplant House, UW Organ & Tissue Donation, and a local scholarship. Last year we raised and donated $7,600 - Help us get to our goal of $10,000 this year!

Capital City 5K Event Info


Volunteers Needed to Help with Love Love Donate Event!
Looking for an opportunity to support our efforts to advance organ & tissue donation awareness?! We have just the event & we need YOUR HELP!

Friends, family & community supporters, we are looking for volunteers to help us at our 5th Annual Steve Muenchow Memorial Outing on Friday, September 28th, 2018! It's a huge year- 5 YEARS of saving lives through organ donation! Proceeds go to the Restoring Hope Transplant House in Middleton, WI! Our goal is $5,000 raised for the house this year and we need YOUR help to get there!

Email us at to sign up as a volunteer! For more info, visit Thank you in advance for your support!
You Can Help - Support RHTH & Transplant Families Today!

If this cause and the above faces, families and stories inspire and move you, we hope that you would please consider making a donation to Restoring Hope Transplant House.  Your generosity is so vitally important  as a non-profit that depends almost entirely upon financial contributions from supporters like you. 

Our air conditioning bills by themselves are off the charts during this recent heat wave for such a massive house.  Serving daily breakfasts to a full house is also a significant operating expense where donations are so crucial.  We simply cannot do this alone.

Please help support the transplant community by making a secure online donation to Restoring Hope Transplant House via PayPal today! 

We are also actively searching for major donors to help with our joint efforts with the Lions Clubs of Wisconsin and others to help push us over the top for our extensive plans to renovate and add on to the current house as well as monthly donors and fundraisers to help with operating expenses.  This will ensure that Restoring Hope Transplant House becomes a longtime fixture in both downtown Middleton and in the transplant community.  If you have any suggestions, connections or interest please contact Executive Director Cindy Herbst at 608-831-1726 or via email at  Please help!

Cindy supervises some of the recent volunteer activities at RHTH
About Restoring Hope Transplant House - Contact Cindy

Restoring Hope Transplant House is a non-profit home established to serve organ and bone marrow transplant patients and their families. The home features six generously-sized guest rooms, multiple sitting rooms, full kitchen, laundry, cable tv, wi-fi and a tranquil yet convenient location in downtown Middleton, just five miles from UW Hospital.

If you have any questions about RHTH, please contact Cindy to learn more.