12/2/13 Updated: New article in the Houston Chronicle – Read here
Guest Post: Written By Nora’s Home, a Taylor’s Gift Foundation Partner
Through the love and support of Taylor’s Gift Foundation along with that of several other contributors, Nora’s Home, the first organ transplant hospitality house in Houston and the Gulf Coast region, is excited to be opening its doors to transplant patients and their families on November 20, 2013. Similar to Taylor’s Gift Foundation, Nora’s Home began when loving parents wanted to help bring hope to other families as they were facing a tragedy.
Nora is the sweet daughter of Drs. Lillian and Osama Gaber who was killed in a tragic accident in 1997 at the age of 7. While a typical child in many ways, Nora cared deeply about those in less fortunate situations. Wanting to carry on her legacy, the Gaber’s (Nora’s parents), came together to establish Nora’s Gift Foundation in 1998.
Throughout her life, Nora demonstrated a loving spirit of compassion towards others. Giving the gift of life, Nora’s legacy did not end with her death. Instead, her organ donations helped several critically ill children and fueled the creation of Nora’s Home, an enduring gift to those in need. Nora’s Home is the main project of Nora’s Gift Foundation
Hope has a Home
The mission of Nora’s Home is to offer affordable lodging for pre-and-post-transplant patients and their families who travel to the area for treatment at any of the Texas Medical Center (TMC) transplant centers. The first of its kind in Houston, it provides care, education and support for transplant patients and their families in a loving, home-like environment.
Nora’s Home is a new, free-standing facility near the Texas Medical Center located at 8300 El Rio Street, Houston, Texas 77054. Built with the specific needs of transplant patients and their families in mind, Nora’s Home includes 16 private bedrooms and bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a Great Room, a meditation room, a community room, an education and resource center, and free shuttle service to the TMC transplant centers.
While most people don’t understand all that is involved when one experiences organ failure and transplant, Nora’s Home Executive Director Kayla Lehmann is no stranger to the trials and tribulations facing transplant patients.
A Note from Executive Director Kayla Lehmann
Diagnosed with PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) at the age of eight, I did not have organ failure until age 55. Thanks to the unselfish acts of young girl’s family, I received the gift of life through her organ donation.
During my frequent visits to clinic following my transplant, I quickly realized that my transplant journey was a very smooth one compared to others. Despite the fact that I was readmitted to the hospital six times post-transplant, I had the convenience of a supportive family, a home within driving distance of the medical center and financial stability. During my clinic visits I met many who were not so lucky. The financial, emotional and medical challenges take a toll on the patient, caregivers and family members.
Being able to give back for my Gift of Life is a great honor. No words can express the joy I receive by being able to work on a project that addresses the many needs of transplant patients. Nora’s Home is more than a place to lay your head. It is a place where you can find hope, education, friendship and support in a loving atmosphere.
I was introduced to Taylor’s Gift Co-founder and President Todd Storch through Patricia Niles with Southwest Transplant Alliance. After hearing about our mission, Todd made the trip to Houston to visit Nora’s Home’s construction in progress. We quickly established a friendship based on the common denominator of raising awareness of the importance of organ registration and the needs of transplant patients. Todd offered to help patients who cannot afford to stay at Nora’s Home by joining our team and contributing to our “Adopt A Family” fund. We are honored to name our Family Room the “Taylor’s Gift Family Room”.
Nora’s Home is excited to partner with Taylor’s Gift Foundation. Together we can bring awareness to the unique needs of transplant patients and their families. Please visit our website at www.NorasHome.org to learn more about Nora’s Home, ways you can give and how to become an organ donor. Anyone can be a hero and save a life by simply signing up on the donor registry.
Taylor’s Gift Foundation is thrilled to to be a Nora’s Home “Adopt-a-Family” partner! Opening it’s doors this week, Taylor’s Gift will be sponsoring pre-and-post-transplant individuals and their families who are facing need, enabling them to stay in the house at no cost. This 3 year commitment is made possible through your generous contributions to the Legacy Gift program. Thank you!