After being type 1 diabetic for 15 years I had a pancreas transplant on
April 12, 2018.
I came to Madison, Wisconsin one time before my transplant. I had no clue where I was going, I had no clue what to look forward to, I had no clue how the people were going to treat me. I was scared. On
February 9, I had my evaluation for my transplant and on
April 11 at 4 PM I got the call and they asked me to leave immediately to come to the University of Wisconsin to prepare for my transplant.
After my transplant I didn't know what to expect. I knew there were going to be bumps in the road and I knew it wasn't going to be easy, however, I made it through it and I wouldn't have been able to make it through it if it weren't for my husband who stuck by my side every minute day and night.
When I was in the hospital my husband and I were undecided where we were going to stay after I was discharged from the hospital. I couldn't really go home as I had to stay in the area I just didn't know how long. I kept hearing from nurses, my coordinator, and other patients I met that had transplants about the Restoring Hope Transplant House. One day my husband and I were sitting in the lounge at the hospital and I picked up a flyer and started reading about the House. The more I read the more I wanted to stay there.
The first night I was discharged from the hospital we stayed at The hotel across the street from UW hospital. I didn't want to stay in a hotel anymore I wanted to be with others that were experiencing the same thing I was going through. I wanted to be able to relate with other families, I wanted to be able to share my story and hear other people's stories. I didn't want to be alone with just my husband and I.
The second night After being discharged we decided we were going to stay at the Restoring Hope Transplant House. When we pulled up to the house and into the driveway everyone was so welcoming. They welcomed us with open arms like they've known us for years. At that moment I knew we were at the right place. Everyone at the Restoring Hope Transplant House are the most loving, caring, amazing people that you could ever meet. While we stayed at the house for two weeks we met a lot of new friends, we went on a lot of different adventures, we ate at a lot of different restaurants all with RHTH guests who became great friends. There were many nights that we
sat around the table and laughed as hard as we could, played games and cooked dinners for everybody.
Staying at RHTH is like staying at grandmas as a little kid home away from home. Cindy cooks breakfast every morning for everyone. That's how we always started our day with a good breakfast and some good laughs in the morning. Staying at the house is the best decision we made while we were in Wisconsin after I had my transplant. Cindy and Brian of the RHTH are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Everyone here is treated like family and that's exactly what everyone at the RHTH is.
In fact this is how welcoming everyone at the RHTH is. My husband and I have 2 daughters ages 5 & 15 both girls. Mind you when I came to Wisconsin for my transplant I had no clue I would be here for a month without seeing my kids. We face time them every day and night but it's not the same as being able to hug and kiss them every day. My youngest daughter was turning 5 on
May 5th and I wanted to be home for her birthday but wasn't going to be able to be home. Instead my wonderful In-laws drove my daughter here to Wisconsin to see her mommy and daddy for her birthday. While RHTH was full of transplant families, they stayed at a nearby hotel. On
Saturday for her birthday we celebrated here at the RHTH with all of our new friends because they not only become your friends here but they now become family. That's what we did is we celebrated as one big family with pizza, ice cream cake, presents and of course good laughs. Shelbie was so excited to be where her mommy and daddy were staying and to meet all of our new friends. Thank you so much Cindy & Eric for making this day so special for our daughter Shelbie but for us as well. Love you guys!!!
If you or anyone in your family has had or in the future going to be coming to Madison for a transplant please let this be the only place you stay. Even if you like privacy this is still the place for you to stay. You don't have to be a social butterfly like me to stay here. But it's so nice to meet new people that we now call our friends and family. We met some of the greatest transplant patients while we stayed here. Not only have some of them gone through the same transplant I had but there were so many people with so many different types of transplants that shared their stories with a complete stranger like me. It's so nice to listen to what others have gone through and know you're not alone through this journey in life.
Any time we come to Madison we will always stay here at the RHTH because they are now our family!!
Many Thanks to Cindy, Brian and Eric for opening up their home to all of us and welcoming us with loving care.
This is one place I will never forget and I will always talk about.
Love & Appreciation
Danelle & David
Sterling Heights, MI