Monday, September 29, 2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Joey Jordan

Family House has a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with the University of San Francisco. We have had a number of volunteers come to volunteer each semester through Service-Learning classes, as well as community clubs on campus.     For the first time, Family House has its own ACE student for the 2014-2015 school year. ACE stands for Advocates for Community Engagement, and is focused on “developing socially responsible, civically-engaged student leaders who facilitate quality service-learning experiences for all stakeholders and advocate for the common good of the community” per the USF ACE website. During the 2012-2013 school year, ACEs managed and led reflective activities for over 200 service-learning students.

Family House’s amazing ACE student, Joey Jordan, will be working with 14 USF students this semester, as well as providing his own service hours to help Family House at events, manage volunteers, and even TEACH Zumba lessons to the families. Joey is very inspired by Family House and is excited to support in any way he can.

He was drawn to Family House as he can understand how hard it is for a family going through treatments when they are so far from their own families.
When Joey is not volunteering or working on school work, he enjoys running in Golden Gate Park, spending time admiring the scenery, as well as volunteering at various non-profits including Project Open Hand, St. Vincent de Paul, and Raphael House.

Thank you Joey for all of your help this year at Family House!

You can get involved with Family House! Learn more at

Friday, September 19, 2014

Groundbreaking of the Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House

What an auspicious day! Thank you to everyone who helped make the Groundbreaking of the Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House possible!

Thank you to Nancy and Stephen Grand and all of the donors who have contributed to the Capital Campaign! Thank you to our Board Members for your endless support! Thank you to all of the families in attendance and those who we have served, and will continue to serve! Thank you to the Mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, Supervisor Jane Kim, and everyone from the city who led us to this important day! Thank you to Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and Chief of Police Greg Suhr for being present and for all of your support! Thank you to the Archbishop Riordan High School Marching Band and the San Francisco Police Mounted Unit for setting the wonderful celebratory atmosphere! Thank you to all of the volunteers, to everyone from our building team (Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, Nibbi Brothers General Contractors, Cambridge Construction Management, Mission Bay Development Group, Goldfarb and Lipman, Susan Diamond, Platinum Advisors, Northern Trust, Equity Community Builders, Capital One Commercial Banking, Northern California Community Loan Fund, Marshall Lamm, Novogradac, Building Blox), and to everyone from the community who could come to Mission Bay and help us celebrate this momentous occasion!

You can still contribute to the Capital Campaign:

View all of the photos of the Groundbreaking:

Click here to read the latest on the Nancy & Stephen Grand Family House:

Monday, September 8, 2014

Brayden and Ashlee


In 2010, 19-year-old Ashlee Hannah brought her first and only child, Brayden, to the doctor for his 2-month checkup and immunizations. Brayden reacted badly to the shots – his mouth and throat blistered and his pediatrician immediately sent him to the local hospital in Tombstone, Arizona.

Through a battery of tests, including blood draws and a spinal tap, Brayden’s health continued to deteriorate – he couldn’t eat on his own and doctors had to insert an NG tube for feedings.  After several days of tests at the hospital, Brayden was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) – and that his only chance for survival would be a bone marrow transplant at UCSF in San Francisco.

“He had a lot of procedures done to him; I'd seen him at his worst. At times, I never knew if I would wake up to my little baby boy being alive.”

Brayden was inpatient at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital for five months, and Ashlee didn’t leave his side. She was able to be his bone marrow donor, and looking back, “I am so glad that there was a way for him to live, with the great doctors and nurses at UCSF.”

As Brayden recovered from his transplant, he continued treatment at UCSF and therefore couldn’t go home to Arizona.

“I was only 18, away from my family in a city I'd never been to… We lived at Family House for 11 months, and my son experienced all of his ‘firsts’ at Family House - holidays, his first Christmas. I live in a very small town and am definitely not a city girl, so it was my ‘first’ for a lot of things, too.

 “The staff were always there for me when I needed to talk or needed help. They were my family away from family. If I didn't have the Family House I honestly can say I have no idea what I would've done.

“They helped me with transportation, gave me gift cards, and when money my parents sent was stolen in the mail, Family House actually made up the difference. I was speechless because they didn't need to do that, but they did! The organization is honestly a true blessing - they're truly wonderful people there.”

Brayden is now four years old, and he is into everything - just like other boys his age. He continues to receive IVIG antibody treatments in Arizona (making up for his body’s natural lack of B Cells), and returns to UCSF annually for checkups.

 To other parents of children with a life-threatening illness, Ashlee advises, “You might go through a lot of hiccups down your road when you have a sick child, but you have to be strong for yourself and for your child. Never give up! Make sure you have a great support system like I did with my family, the Family House, and the great medical team that saved my sons life. Know that you're not alone!”

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Family House is proud to support families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. We have provided a safe, comfortable home and a supportive environment since 1981.