Restoring Hope
December 2018
Holiday Greetings Dear Friends,
I hope you and your family have been blessed with a great year of good health and many treasured moments. We cannot thank you enough for the love, kindness and support you have shown our family and Restoring Hope Transplant this year.
To those we have shared a house with over the years, I can say without question, that our favorite part of each week is checking the registration book to see how many of our old transplant families are returning for a visit. There is a special bond shared between those who support each other through adversity and somehow manage to land on their feet together. We feel that on a regular basis with the families that stay here at Restoring Hope. Your families mean the world to us, your travels through transplantation have united us and the remainder of your journeys after you leave this house truly matter to us. We are passionate about what we do because of you!
As so often happens here, guests become family. They huddle over breakfast to share updates, visit each other in the hospital, run errands for each other, take time to enjoy many of the greater Madison attractions and restaurants, cook family style meals together with a healthy dose of chatter and laughs, gather in the living room to watch movies or their favorite sports teams, play board games and keep the mind occupied with crafts and baking. Yet this house is spacious enough for everyone to comfortably have their alone time for much needed rest or quiet reflection. This is the day to day Restoring Hope that so many of our families come to enjoy as a safe oasis during an oftentimes uncertain and lonely time. The celebration of successes and encouragement through tribulations is so vital to recovery.
To those who support this house throughout the year and make these moments possible: THANK YOU! To the Lions and Lioness Clubs who are the most compassionate and giving people we have ever encountered, to the regular supporters who make contributions each month, to the families who celebrate the loss of a loved one by donating to this cause in their honor, to the many kind-hearted people who host fundraisers throughout the year to raise awareness and funds, to the people like you who have been touched by the stories that take place under this roof. It has taken each and every one of you to get through this year as a charitable cause. Please know how much we care about you, value our friendships, are grateful for your generosity and appreciate how much you embrace our other visiting families with compassion, understanding and respect.
We received word last week following a bone marrow biopsy that my husband Brian is still cancer free after a very challenging year fighting aggressive leukemia. That is the greatest holiday gift a family could possibly receive. We are so grateful for this news and your continued well-wishes!
Happy Holidays!
Cindy Herbst
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Restoring Hope Transplant House
In Their Own Words: RHTH Guests from Missouri
"Restoring Hope Transplant House has been a blessing during a difficult time. I wouldn't want to or couldn't even imagine doing this without RHTH. After we toured the house I knew this was a home atmosphere. However, I did not expect the connection with the Herbst family as well as other patients and their caregivers. This isn't just a home feeling but a family feeling. I'm not just staying here, I have become part of something... a family. A family that will laugh with you, cry with you, support you, talk with you or when you need just listen. We share our successes and we encourage each other through setbacks as a family does. We wait up for caregivers to hear reports from the hospital, we get together for dinner and take turns cooking and cleaning. We heat up leftovers for those getting back late and we carpool or pick up stuff for each other on store trips. We also pray and wait to hear about follow up hospital visits. You know... family stuff. It isn't just the current residents, I hear the same from people that stayed here in the past. The Herbst family didn't just open a house with vacancy, they have opened up their family and are always accepting new members."

Jason & Family
Kidney Auto Transplant Program
Springfield, MO
Baskets For Hope - Online Silent Auction for RHTH
Restoring Hope Transplant House is having an online holiday basket fundraiser on December 18th and 19th.  All proceeds from these 16 themed baskets will benefit Restoring Hope Transplant House and our transplant families.  Please visit our online silent auction listing to look over the baskets and bid on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thanks for your support - please share this link with others who may be interested in supporting this cause!
In Their Own Words: Daughters Care For Dad
"In July 2018, my Dad was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). He was referred to see Dr. Juckett at the University of Wisconsin Madison Hospital.
My Dad has been very healthy and active all of his life. He enjoys golfing, fishing trips and spending time with his 4 grandkids. He had rarely needed prescription medications and had never even stayed overnight in a hospital before!  
We knew that Dr. Juckett was the right doctor after meeting him. He gave Dad 2 options: monthly rounds of chemo which would allow him to live 2 years or to undergo a stem cell/bone marrow transplant. Dad was determined to fight this and chose transplant.
However, my Mother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly just months prior to Dad's diagnosis. My Sister, Brooke, and I knew that Dad was going to need a lot of help and support. But we were all in and decided to fight this alongside Dad. Brooke lives in Georgia and has a husband and 2 daughter and I live in Negaunee, MI and have a husband and 2 sons. Luckily our families were also very supportive and allowed Brooke and I to be in Madison with Dad.
Brooke became Dad's stem cell donor. Dad underwent transplant on October 4, 2018. He was hospitalized for 40 days and went through many ups and downs during this time.
After discharge, Dad was planning to just stay at a hotel. I was concerned about this and was relieved when we found the Restoring Hope Transplant House.
Not only is RHTH a place to stay, but it is filled with compassion, friendship and even laughter. It was so relieving to have Cindy provide an ear for any concerns and the encouragement that I needed as a caregiver. Eric was amazing at providing friendship and laughter. I do not know what we would do without that wonderful place!
After 55 days from transplant, Dad is now well enough to leave RHTH and stay with some friends so that I can return home. It is bittersweet as we feel like we are leaving our new home! I will never forget the love and friendships that were provided to us here at the transplant house.
To Cindy and Eric - thank you for everything you do! You have been a blessing in our lives. Your support means so much more than I can even put into words!"
Heather (Daughter of Dick H)
Stem Cell Transplant Caregiver & Recipient
Michigan - Georgia - Florida
Live Love Donate Contributes $5,000 to RHTH
Appreciate our dear friends from Live Love Donate stopping by this week to present an incredible $5,000 check to RHTH from the 5th Annual Steve Muenchow Memorial Golf Outing.  These ladies are so kind-hearted and impressive with all they do as a transplant family to support the transplant community that helped give their dad/husband 25 additional years through the miracle of organ transplantation.  Please take a moment to learn more about their story, the inspiration behind their non-profit and the difference they are making here at RHTH and for other families in need!
UWHC Annual Holiday Bake Sale Supports RHTH
Special thanks to Gail and all of our friends up on the B6/6 cancer floor for donating $1,000 from their annual holiday bake sale to Restoring Hope Transplant House.  Gail said it was their biggest sale in her 10 years of hosting it.  Our family has spent a lot of time on that floor this year with Brian's leukemia so we cannot thank them enough for this kind gesture and all of the concern.  The very same day this bake sale was hosted we learned that the results from Brian's bone marrow biopsy came back cancer free.  It certainly was a wonderful day! 
Join the Bone Marrow Registry
Josh (Neillsville,WI) was diagnosed with leukemia at 17 years old.  He was recently released to RHTH after 33 days in the hospital following the bone marrow transplant he received from his brother. Josh is a high school senior with so much to look forward to. We encourage you all to learn more about joining the bone marrow registry to help so many other families like ours dealing with cancer.

Organ Donation Saves Lives - Become An Organ Donor Today!
Our VA Hospital friend Chuck from Indianapolis recently went from having an LVAD to improve his quality of life to getting the call for a heart transplant here in Madison.  Please take a moment to learn more about organ donation and how you can register to become an organ donor in your state.  A few moments of your time could one day save several lives. 
"The Most Fun I've Had In A Long Time!"
With a little help from our golf enthusiast friends at Live Love Donate, we recently transformed our carpeted upstairs hallway into a makeshift putting green for a couple of our Wisconsin guests battling cancer. Avid golfers for much of their lives, cancer has made so many daily activities a challenge including their love for golf. To see them so completely energized, happy and entirely lost in the moment as if transported to the local course of their youth, was a moment we shall not soon forget. We know firsthand of their journey and understand completely how often the little things really are the big things in life! This place is magical. The collective spirit of our guests helps us get through so many things we simply could not handle on our own.
Give the Impossible Gift of Warmth and Comfort
To many of us, the thought of the holiday season inspires feelings of warmth and comfort of home. A gift often regarded as priceless, to those fortunate enough to have it. It's also the impossible gift - after all, how do you package, wrap and give those feelings to a loved one, or place it under the tree to await an eager child anticipating magic? 
At Restoring Hope - we serve the most amazing people and this holiday season, we want you to join us and help give the impossible gift

This year, you can give the impossible gift of the warmth and comfort of home by donating to Restoring Hope Transplant House. Your donation will go directly to warming our home so it can be the home-away-from-home comfort that our guests need at the most crucial time in their lives. For a holiday season to be filled with warmth, comfort and safety - it requires an environment that inspires those feelings. Through your generosity, we will be able to provide our guests:
  • The Warmth of Heat: keeping our home warm is important to our amazing guests, and the holiday season brings the coldest winter months, and that requires more resources than the warmer months, including an increased heating bill. We are in Wisconsin after all, and our daily max temperature rarely gets above freezing from December to March.
  • The Warmth of a Bed: if you've slept on an uncomfortable bed, you know the smallest details make the biggest difference. We need new bed linens to provide comfortable sheets and blankets as it's important that our guests get a good night's rest for their care. 
  • The Warmth of a Meal: we provide a warm breakfast for all the guests every morning. We also provide food items to help with a dinner meal as well. This helps our guests bodies and minds remain strong and well nourished, while also providing convenience so our guests can stay close to home. 
  • The Warmth of Clean Laundry: the home has a washer and dryer that is free for our guests to use, and we keep soap and fabric softener stocked so that our guests can feel comfortable in clean clothing, as they often don't know how long they will be staying with us. In some cases it's only a few days, in other cases it can last months. 
We wish you a warm and comfortable holiday season - wherever home, this year, may be. For our guests at Restoring Hope, this holiday season will be spent with us. Please help us make it a warm and comfortable one.   
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 an end of year 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.  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!

  In loving memory of dear friends we have lost.  Thank you for your friendship, laughs, love and lasting memories. We are so grateful for all you and your families have done to help make this house a home.  You will never be forgotten!
Cindy with daughter Karen volunteering at the annual UW Transplant Program Holiday Party in the kids craft room
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.