Monday, October 24, 2011

             At the end of August 2011, the Monicken family received life-changing news when their nine year old daughter, Hana, needed an emergency MRI after a routine eye exam. Doctors in Fairbanks, Alaska, found a mass in Hana’s brain. This mass was later identified as a tumor and the diagnosis of cancer was suddenly a part of the Monicken’s reality. They were quickly referred to UCSF Benioff Children’s Center at the beginning of September where Hana is currently in a 27 week course of chemotherapy and a 6 week course of daily radiation. 
            Dave and Mami, Hana’s parents cannot conceive what they would have done had they not found Family House. In early September, they arrived at our 10th Ave house deprived of sleep and a comfortable environment. They were so thankful after they were able to catch up on a private and quiet nights sleep with out any beeping monitors!
            Because the Monicken’s live in Alaska, Family House has allowed their family to stay together during Hana’s treatment. Hana’s older sister Emily was even able to come and meet her family once Hana was settled in. With their financial burden of accommodations lifted, and the convenience that Family House brings, the Monicken’s are now able to spend their time focused on Hana’s treatment and health.
            When asked what their favorite part of Family House is, Dave, Hana’s father talked about the general sense of security that Family House provides; the sense that everything is going to be okay. Dave even said with a smile that it is like being with relatives but better! There is no sense of imposition and they don’t even feel the burden that sometimes comes with being a guest. The Monicken’s are thankful for the remarkable staff and the huge comfort that comes with staying at Family House. Dave feels as though going through similar situations creates a unique and special bond and their entire family appreciates the sense of understanding that they get from the other families staying in the homes.

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