Answers, hope and support for families of children with rare disorders and devastating illnesses
By The Children's Inn at NIH on April 13, 2017
When modern medicine lacks answers, families of sick children often turn to clinical trials as their best hope for a treatment or cure. The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, is the nation’s premier biomedical research center where thousands of medical specialists work hard every day to better understand medical mysteries and develop effective treatments. The Children’s Inn at NIH, a nonprofit hospitality house, opens its arms to welcome every family whose child is accepted into a clinical trial at the NIH, providing free housing and a wide range of educational, therapeutic and recreational supportive services.
Opened in 1990 to provide “A Place Like Home” to families of children being treated at the NIH, The Children’s Inn has provided a second home to more than 13,000 children and their families from all 50 states and 94 countries.
The mission of The Inn is to provide every support these families need so they can afford to participate in potentially life-saving clinical trials and focus on what matters most: caring for their sick child.
No matter how long a family stays at The Inn or how often they need to come – whether it’s one night or many months at a time – their stays at The Inn are always completely free. Every family is also offered free grocery gift cards and a free shuttle is available that takes them to the store. Communal kitchens, living rooms, laundry facilities are also provided for free, along with nearly nightly meals prepared and served by volunteers, a host of afternoon and evening activities, an educational center that helps children keep up with the schoolwork assigned to them by their schools’ teachers.
The families who come to The Inn are families like 7-year-old Taezia’s from Missouri. Taezia was only 11 months old when she was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 1, a rare illness that causes tumors to grow inside her body. Taezia’s tumors are especially aggressive, enveloping her spine and threatening her ability to walk. Surgeries were not an effective option for Taezia. But at the NIH, Taezia was accepted into a clinical trial that has successfully helped shrink her tumors – the first time since her daughter’s diagnosis that her mother has received positive news about her daughter’s health. But without The Inn, Taezia’s mom isn’t sure just how she would be able to afford the many stays far away from home to get Taezia the help she needs. Thanks to the Combined Federal Campaign and other donations, Taezia’s mom never has to worry about that.
And thanks to The Inn and the relief it brings to families burdened by illness and medical expenses, family compliance with clinical trials has significantly improved, easing the work of NIH researchers.
Although located on the NIH campus, The Children’s Inn is a private nonprofit and depends on philanthropy to keep its doors open.
A simple gift to The Inn can mean everything to a family of a sick child who finds a second home at The Inn. Here are some examples of what your gift can do:
- $1000: Provides one week of free lodging to a family
- $500: Serves a Family Dinner, a favorite activity at The Inn, for 50 families
- $250: Provides one night of lodging and activities for a family at The Inn
- $100: Covers a grocery gift card to assist a long-term family
- $50: Provides a video game for use in the Game Room or Teen Lounge
- $25: Gives a family a calling card to stay in touch with loved ones
Every gift makes a difference. Thank you for being our partners in hope and discovery!
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