June 2020

Remember when you were a little kid and the days and months just seemed to drag by? I still remember waiting in anticipation for summer vacation, Christmas and Easter, my birthday, and other “important” dates in my life and feeling like they would never come. For me, and I am taking a leap and assuming for you and your family as well, waiting for life to return to normal post COVID-19 has seemed like an eternity. While I don’t for a minute think that life will return to the “normal” we used to know, I am feeling that our “new normal” has begun and we can finally start to get back to family, friends, work, and social activities in a somewhat modified way. 
At Halo House, we are trying to do just that – get back to as normal a routine as possible. Overseeing an organization like Halo House in these challenging times has brought on some additional responsibilities for my staff and me and made us all more aware of not only what we are doing but how we are doing it - all with the one goal of keeping our guests safe and protected. Being in the midst of a pandemic has meant putting extra measures in place; measures like more frequent cleaning and sanitizing, limiting staff and visitors in the building, and temporarily closing the community center and fitness area, among other precautions.  Thankfully, after what seemed like an eternity, we are feeling confident that the precautions that we have put into place are working and Halo House staff is now back full time.   
For our guests living at Halo House, their lives have also been greatly affected by recent events. In addition to living day in and day out with cancer and all that comes with it, they too have had to find a new normal with even greater restrictions. I am constantly reminded of the courage and strength that they possess as they navigate not only their illness but also the additional hardships laid upon them because of the pandemic in our nation. We are so inspired by all of our residents for they truly motivate us to want to provide the best temporary living environment for each and every one of them.   
In this newsletter, we will once again highlight some of the amazing people that we are so fortunate to know and work beside as well as celebrate the one-year anniversary of the opening of our beautiful Halo House building. You will also get the latest update on our 2020 Halo House Gala – Be Kind and Rewind: Your Best Decade Replayed – you won’t want to miss it! 
Finally, I want to thank you all for the ongoing support and kindness sent our way. From the home baked goodies, the well wishes, the amazing crafts and gifts of flowers sent to brighten our workspace, to the generous financial gifts Halo House continues to receive, we are extremely grateful and blessed -  Halo House has the best extended family in the world!

Kristen Stubbs 
Executive Director 
Celebrating 1 Year at Halo House!
Halo House Gala Returns: 10th Annual Event!  
The Be Kind & Rewind: Your Favorite Decade Replayed   Halo House Gala  is just around the corner and is scheduled for November 14, 2020. Once again, the Gala will be held at The Ballroom at Bayou Place and we are excited for the wonderful festivities that we have in store for you!
As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of Halo House Foundation and the Gala, our theme this year is all about the passage of time and the good ‘ole days. Guests are invited to dress in attire from their favorite decade. Come as a flapper from the 20’s, or a  West Side Story  Shark or a Jet from the 60's. Guests can don their babydoll dress or pillbox hat from the 60's, or bell-bottoms from the 70's and even enter an exciting style show contest! 
For sponsorship opportunities or to reserve your tickets in advance, please contact Hannah Alfred at  [email protected]  and be on the lookout for a Save the Date in your mailbox. Be sure and mark your calendars - you won’t want to miss this year’s event as we celebrate 10 years of Halo House in “style”! 
Featured Family - Joe & Amy Pagano
Former residents, Joe and Amy Pagano are very grateful for their time at Halo House. In 2015, Amy, a radiation therapist, returned home from a weekend getaway and noticed that her physician husband, Joe, had a swollen lymph node on his neck. Shortly thereafter, Joe received a diagnosis of cancer but felt that they should get a second opinion from the best cancer hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Nathan Fowler, Halo House co-founder, confirmed Joe’s diagnosis and advised him that he could receive his stem cell transplant and treatment in their home state of Florida. Unfortunately, a couple of years later Joe’s cancer returned.  
In December 2019, Joe and Amy came to Houston for another second opinion with Dr. Fowler who said the best treatment would be a CAR-T and that the best place to receive the treatment was at MD Anderson. Dr. Fowler also told the Pagano’s about Halo House and suggested that they get on the waitlist as this would be the best place to stay while in treatment in Houston.  
While Joe was in the hospital for his CAR-T treatment, the Pagano’s received the call from Halo House informing them that an apartment was available. While Joe was still in the hospital, Amy was able to use the apartment to do laundry which became a respite for her because it forced her to sit in the recliner and relax while she was waiting for their clothes to dry!
Free Support for Patients, Caregivers, and Survivors 
Living with cancer can present many physical and emotional challenges to both patients and their families. One challenge that you may not have anticipated, though, is the sense of isolation you experience at various points during your cancer journey. MD Anderson Cancer Center has an amazing program aimed at helping patients and caregivers combat isolation and connect with others who have or are experiencing similar situations.   
myCancerConnection is a one-on-one support system that matches volunteers with patients and caregivers for real time help, encouragement, information, and social interaction. There are several ways to connect and multiple opportunities to become involved. 
  1. Call myCancerConnection to request one-on-one support. The team will match you with a survivor and/or caregiver volunteer who can relate to your experience. myCancerConnection is a cancer support community of trained survivor and caregiver volunteers that offers free, one-on-one support to patients, caregivers and survivors regardless of where they receive treatment. Click here to learn more about myCancerConnection
  2. Lunch & Learn is designed for patients, caregivers, volunteers and employees to hear the latest news and information related to cancer from MD Anderson experts. It is also a good chance for patients and caregivers to connect with others. There are remote sessions offered beginning June 9th.  
  3. Cancer180 is a group for young adult patients, survivors and their caregivers. Those ages 18-39 can connect with other young adults where support is offered through social outings, educational activities and online resources. Currently, there are weekly activities planned. Visit www.facebook.com/cancer180 for more information.
Halo House Hero - Tracy Rigo
Tracy Rigo, our Halo House Hero for June is most definitely a “jack of all trades”. It would not be an understatement to say that Tracy touches every aspect of Halo House operations and we couldn’t be more proud to highlight her this month.   

Tracy first heard about Halo house in 2014 when her father, David Clifford, was in the hospital undergoing treatment for AML Leukemia. Her father became friends with a gentleman who was also undergoing cancer treatment and was staying at the Halo House. At the time, Tracy was looking for volunteer opportunities in the Houston area and knew right away Halo House was the perfect fit for her.  

Tracy is one of Halo House’s most seasoned volunteers and began her volunteer journey with us when Halo House was just getting started. When asked what tasks she usually performs when she volunteers at Halo House, Tracy laughed, “Anything and everything! One day I’m changing light bulbs in closets, the next I’m calling potential residents to update their need dates. Every day is different”. 
Charitable Giving Update
Did you know that the federal government has removed limitations on deductible charitable contributions for 2020 for taxpayers who itemize? Individuals can deduct 100% of their charitable deductions (up from 60%) and corporations can deduct 25% (up from 10%) making 2020 a great year to make that contribution to Halo House that you have been wanting to do!  
Meet the Staff 
Administrative Manager – Lindsey Perryman

Lindsey Perryman, our new Administrative Manager, joined the Halo House team in February of 2020. Lindsey is originally from Luling, TX. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in 2017 in Health Information Management from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, and in 2019 completed her Master’s degree in Public Health at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. 

Growing up in Luling, Lindsey spent her childhood helping her dad around the Luling Oil Museum, a nonprofit museum that showcases the rich history of Luling, Texas. Lindsey took her love for nonprofits with her to college and thus ultimately decided to pursue a career in nonprofits. With her healthcare education, Lindsey found the perfect balance between nonprofits, management, and healthcare in her position at Halo House Foundation. Lindsey’s favorite part about working at Halo House, so far, is meeting the residents and feeling joy and satisfaction in her work to help provide housing to them during their time in treatment. 

When she is not at Halo House, Lindsey enjoys spending time with her family in Luling and their 3 donkeys, Charro, Tamale, and Chuy, and trying out new restaurants in Houston with her boyfriend. Lindsey runs a small photography business and occasionally occupies her weekends and evenings taking photos of clients. Lindsey is also a cat mom to her 5-year-old sassy tabby with white paws named Archie. 
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