Happy Thanksgiving & Holiday Season
Dear Friends,
Thankfulness takes on an entirely new meaning whenever life brings devastating news and you manage to beat the long odds. It heightens your appreciation for all things that you fear may quickly be taken from you. My husband Brian was rather shockingly diagnosed with a very aggressive form of leukemia earlier this year. It has at times been completely overwhelming yet we are beyond grateful to report that he is still cancer free 5 months after his bone marrow transplant at UW Hospital. We are so grateful for every moment we have together. Every laughter-filled visit with our five grandkids, every trip we take to special places that have filled our lives with joy over the years, every breakfast we share with our Restoring Hope Transplant House guests who are going through so many of the very same challenges. Those are moments we cherish now more than ever. In the midst of perhaps our most difficult year personally, we feel as though this will be the most meaningful Thanksgiving of our lives!
Through it all, we are so proud of how Restoring Hope has flourished this year and how so many of our supporters, transplant guests and good neighbors have locked arms together to make us stronger and filled our collective sails with optimism whenever our focus drifted to worrisome lab results or health related setbacks. We have never had to close our doors or turn away a transplant family in need while navigating this battle and while very proud of that fact, we recognize and appreciate that it has taken the compassion of the masses to make it all possible.

Our collective thankfulness extends to all of the UW Hospital and VA Hospital medical teams, staff and guest services personnel. Not only have you been a pleasure to partner with and a blessing to so many of our visiting transplant families but you have also now directly touched our lives through Brian's transplant journey. Your talents give us a chance, your compassion gives us hope and your patient-family centered care promotes much-needed healing for all. We are so thankful for all you do!

As a charitable cause that has now been serving transplant families since 2013, we say Thanks for Giving. As a non-profit, this house is largely a gift to the transplant community from many kind-hearted donors who have given so generously over the years. You are the heartbeat of this house. From monthly contributions to holiday gifts to donations in loving memory and everything in between. Your love for the people who share this house fuels so many of the miracles we share with you each and every month. In a time of giving thanks for all we have been blessed with we would be most grateful for your help this holiday season!
Many thanks also to our Lions and Lioness Club friends who have raised incredible awareness for such critical health related issues as diabetes which effects so many of our guests and for their loyal contributions to Restoring Hope Transplant House which has largely helped to keep these doors open to families in need. These amazing people are amongst the finest examples of our greatest champions. We are so grateful for all who have had their hearts so completely captured by the mission of this house and the stories of those who share it to help ensure that it remains a fixture in the transplant community. Quite simply, we could not do this without your help!

As always, we will be hosting a traditional Thanksgiving feast this year for all of the families currently staying here at Restoring Hope Transplant House. We are full this entire week with families from as far away as Alaska, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Washington and Wisconsin which means many families will be away from friends and loved ones but still able to enjoy the love, support and holiday spirits of our Transplant House family. We appreciate all who continue to make this house such a welcoming home for families like these in need!
Happy Thanksgiving,
Cindy Herbst
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Restoring Hope Transplant House

Always exciting when we add a new state to our guest list, so everyone was eager to welcome our new arrivals all the way from Alaska yesterday. With this addition, Restoring Hope Transplant House has now hosted visitors from the following:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska
Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Canada, England, Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Spain

Before closing, I wanted to share an update on the lead story of our previous e-newsletter. Our friend Amber shared the beautiful story of the miracle of her mother Shelly being at her recent wedding after going through both a bone marrow transplant and a very rare 4 organ transplant. Shortly after sharing that story, we learned that the donor family who so graciously gave Shelly the 4 organs she so badly needed, was also a family that had previously stayed at Restoring Hope Transplant House. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we would like to share a portion of that incredible exchange:

"Hello there, it's Denise, the mother of that beautiful, amazing young woman who so graciously was the donor for Shelly. As sad as the story was for my husband and I and all of the people that loved her so dearly, it fills my heart with so much joy to read this story and know the amount of gratitude Shelly and her family have.

I too had the opportunity to stay at Restoring Hope Transplant House. I was the primary caregiver for a family member last year who needed a liver transplant. They were indeed so accommodating and were there to offer the support and comfort I needed. Such an awesome thing they do for the patient and their families. Thank you so much for your kindness, generosity and support.

Shelly's story is such a true testimony to the great opportunity we can give to save lives by being an organ donor. My forever blessings to Shelly and her family."

As a charitable home away from home for transplant families, Restoring Hope Transplant House depends almost entirely upon your kindness and generosity in order to keep our doors open to families in need. Now more than ever, we need your help during the upcoming holiday season of gifting. The miraculous stories and incredible people we share with you each and every month are largely possibly because of your support. Please help further this cause by making a donation to Restoring Hope this Thanksgiving if you are able! Thank you all!

Photo Caption: Appreciate our kidney transplant and Jefferson - Fort Atkinson Lions Club friends for stopping by on Thanksgiving morning with a very generous donation with company matching to help provide our current guests with a home-like Thanksgiving night feast. What a wonderful gesture! Happy Holidays to you all!