PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Celebrating life with a giant eight-foot wind chime that was rung for the first time Wednesday in Philadelphia. The Gift of Life House is the first in the nation, a home away from home for transplant patients and their families. And now, it’s outfitted with a special acoustical feature.
The official unveiling of the Chimes of Hope, marking the 10th anniversary of the Gift of Life Family House. 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,” Dannielle Small said.
Small, who lives in New York, stayed in the Family House after a kidney transplant at Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia.
“It made my recovery smoother,” Small said.
Back on assignment in person for the first time in 16 months working with the amazing @storyrd at an event for @Donors1 See the new Chimes of Hope #cbs3 at 4 & 5. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/dC9sQJ41ZJ
— Stephanie Stahl (@StahlCBS3) July 14, 2021
Small and her brother are among 2,800 transplant patients and families who have been served since the house opened a decade ago.
“We understand no family’s journey is identical,” Jan Weinstock with Gift of Life said. “There is comfort though in sharing the journey.”
It’s not just a place to stay. The Family House also provides food, transportation, and support.
“When our guests arrive at the Family House, they’re often exhausted mentally, physically and finically,” Howard Nathan with Gift of Life said. “What we offer is a comforting home away from home for our families who are navigating the most difficult times of their lives.”
For Small, 32, it was lupus that destroyed her kidneys. After three years of waiting for a transplant, she finally had the operation 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’s back to work as a pediatric psychotherapist.
“I feel like I got a second chance at life. I know everyone always says that but it truly feels like you get to live again,” Small said.