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Gift of Life Family House Honors Supporters and Celebrates Providing Transplant Patients and their

On Wednesday, March 16th, Gift of Life Family House honored its loyal contributors - the Family and Founders’ Circle members - at the 5th Annual President’s Reception. Due to the generous financial support of these individuals, the Family House has been able to continue offering a “home away from home” for transplant patients and their families traveling to Philadelphia for transplant related care. The House also celebrated the significant achievement of providing 30,000 lodging nights of care to guests, since its inception in 2011.

Philadelphia, PA – On Wednesday, March 16th, Gift of Life Family House honored its loyal contributors - the Family and Founders’ Circle members - at the 5th Annual President’s Reception. Due to the generous financial support of these individuals, the Family House has been able to continue offering a “home away from home” for transplant patients and their families traveling to Philadelphia for transplant related care. The House also celebrated the significant achievement of providing 30,000 lodging nights of care to guests, since its inception in 2011. The Family House offers a comfortable place to stay, home cooked meals, transportation to and from local transplant centers and a compassionate environment. The Family and Founders’ Circle members help the Family House ensure that families are always supported, and are never turned away due to their inability to pay.

At the President’s Reception, double lung recipient Bobby Adams and his wife, Ashley, spoke about the challenges they faced when Bobby became ill. Ashley and Bobby never envisioned that their young lives would take such a drastic turn last year. After suffering from flu-like symptoms, Bobby was taken to the hospital for treatment. Very quickly, his health deteriorated and he was told that he would need a double lung transplant to survive. Already engaged, Ashley and Bobby made the decision to marry by Bobby’s bedside at Temple University Hospital in March, 2015. In an extraordinary turn of events, the very next day Bobby received the gift of life – new lungs. Now healthy, Bobby and Ashley celebrated their wedding anniversary and his “transplantaversary” at the President’s Reception, since their anniversary coincided almost to the day with the Family House’s event.

Ashley stayed at the Family House when Bobby was in the hospital, and they are both grateful for the comfort and peace of mind that the House offered them. “We are indescribably grateful for the Family House and how positively it has affected the outcome of our situation.” said Bobby. “Without the Family House, it would have been very difficult for Ash to be with me every single day, both financially and logistically. Without her unyielding emotional support and care, I wouldn't be as well off as I am today. And without the support and the positive environment of the Family House, Ash wouldn't have been as available and emotionally present for me.”

The Broad Street Beat, an acapella group that has been entertaining Philadelphia since 2011, performed at the President’s Reception and helped make the event fun and celebratory. There was also a signature dessert served by former White House Chef, John Moeller. Chef Moeller spoke about his experience at the White House where he served three U.S. presidents from 1992 to 2005, including Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. During his tenure, he helped create and prepare meals for not only the First Families, but also for world leaders like Tony Blair and Nelson Mandela, and famous guests like Julia Child and Sophia Loren. Chef Moeller also gave an exclusive inside look at his new book, “Dining at the White House.”

Howard M. Nathan, President and CEO, Gift of Life Donor Program, hosted the President’s Reception and thanked the Family House’s greatest contributors for their tireless dedication to the House. “It’s difficult when a loved one becomes ill – both financially and emotionally.” said Mr. Nathan. “Patients and family members who stay at the Family House create a community of support for each other. They all understand what others who stay with us are going through. They’ve all been affected by transplantation.”

This past year has been successful for the Family House. The House offered 8,439 lodging nights of care in 2015, housing 15,848 guests and families. The Family House ensures that the circle of care is complete for transplant patients and their caregivers by offering not only temporary lodging, but also meals and supportive services. One of the House’s most appreciated services is Home Cook Heroes, a volunteer-based program where groups of 10 people cook and serve dinner to Family House guests on a nightly basis. In 2015, volunteers for Home Cook Heroes dedicated their time and culinary skills, serving more than 31,696 delicious meals. To date, Home Cook Heroes has provided over 110,792 meals. Additionally, Family House staff drove 4,219 guests a total of 17,734 miles this year – totaling 1,615 trips to and from area hospitals.

About Family House: Gift of Life Family House serves as a "home away from home" for transplant patients and their families by providing lodging, meals and supportive services to those who travel to Philadelphia for transplant-related care. Gift of Life Family House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. For more information about supporting the Family House visit GiftofLifeFamilyHouse.org.

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