PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Celebrate life with a giant eight-foot wind chime that first sounded Wednesday in Philadelphia. The Maison du don de vie is the first in the country, a home away from home for transplant recipients and their families. And now it is equipped with a special acoustic function.
The official unveiling of the Carillons of Hope, marking the 10th anniversary of the Don de vie family home. Patients and their families will now be able to ring the giant chime to celebrate milestones in the transplant journey.
“Needless to say, I am extremely grateful,” said Dannielle Small.
Small, who lives in New York City, stayed in the Family House after a kidney transplant at Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia.
“It made my recovery easier,” Small said.
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Small and his brother are among 2,800 transplant patients and families who have been cared for since the house opened ten years ago.
“We understand that no family trip is the same,” said Jan Weinstock of Gift of Life. “There is comfort in sharing the journey. “
It’s not just a place to stay. The family home also provides food, transportation and support.
“When our guests arrive at the Family Home, they are often mentally, physically and financially exhausted,” said Howard Nathan of Gift of Life. “What we offer is a heartwarming home for our families going through the most difficult times of their lives.”
For Small, 32, it was lupus that destroyed his kidneys. After three years of waiting for a transplant, she finally underwent surgery in July 2020 at the height of the pandemic.
“It was a little scary in the sense, I didn’t know what could happen,” Small said.
Now fully recovered, she is back to work as a pediatric psychotherapist.
“I feel like I have a second chance in life. I know everyone always says that, but it really feels like you come back to life, ”Small said.
The Gift of Life Family Home is launching a year-long awareness campaign called “Journey to Hope” to raise funds and encourage more people to become donors.