Rating: 5 stars 1 1 review
Location: 110 West Merrell Street First Floor Phoenix AZ 85013 USA
Results: Since opening in 2010, Ryan House has served over 130 families for respite care and 67 families for end-of-life care. A total of 2,774 care days have been provided to families, which has meant full nights of sleep, rare vacations, and precious memories made.
Programs: All services at Ryan House are guided by the principles of pediatric palliative care. This philosophy of comfort care addresses not only physical pain but also the emotional, spiritual and social needs of the child and family. At Ryan House, families can entrust their child to the certified care team while they take a short break from both the emotional and non-stop care their children require at home. Ryan House is 100% privately funded; families are never charged a fee to utilize any of the services that we provide.
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Teaching our children the importance of giving is our key factor in selecting Ryan House. The staff is warm, and the facility reflects it. Of course they appreciate donations, but are keenly interested in bringing understanding of their purpose. Too often we find that staff tasked with finding donors create a wall between those donors and the folks in need, beyond what is necessary, which prevents our kids from understanding why we donate. It is true that it is greater to give than to receive, but this is because of the good feelings one gets from the giving, which is removed when the donor feels like nothing more than a wallet. Our giving is generally targeted towards family issues and especially children, when the family was blind-sided by events beyond their control. We want to both donate and participate, and allow our children to realize the massive blessings we enjoy, and there are others that may need our help, if one cares to take the time to look. We are a community, and are thereby obligated to share. The people at Ryan House manage a warm balance between their task of caring for families in need and the donors that enjoy participating and being community members. Our daughter talks frequently about how much she enjoyed visiting, feeling included, and what project she wants to do next to raise money, or become more involved. As parents, we could not be happier, nor more proud of, what we found at Ryan House.
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Our children are all healthy and we enjoy amazing lives and advantages. We cannot imagine what it must be like to care for a very sick child and truly understand the 24/7/365 term, and the reality that their child's life will be short. Our "sacrifices" for each other, or occasionally one of the kids temporarily, are so insignificant compared to these parents that we are compelled to participate in finding them some relief to at least recharge to continue their efforts.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Discover a way to build a set of "franchise manuals" for them, so that there was more than ONE of them! We felt so ignorant of this need, and have been sharing with friends as quickly as we can, but from a parent's point of view, this is a massive need. Yes, we want cures for diseases... but sometimes it is more important to just have one day where the world is not crushing you. Ryan House needs to be in most every city.
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If you're a parent, merely learning what Ryan House is tasked to do is all one needs. Every parent, regardless of station, has periods where the family suffers from some crisis. Just imagine if that crisis was permanent and all-consuming like a terminally ill child. You will give your last dime and drop of blood for that child... and when that is still not enough, you must cope. You will not care for your spouse or other children as you believe you should, and this will pray on you. Ryan House can provide that bit of respite that allows you to hold sanity, reconnect with a spouse, or give special focus to a child feeling ignored or just not "normal" like other kids. It is the oasis of a large desert.
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