This Mom Brings Joy to Seriously Ill Children

As moms, we know how awful it is when our children are sick. Some of us have dealt with the stress of having a child in the hospital, faced a complex medical problem or gone through extended treatment for an illness. It’s difficult and emotionally draining, no doubt. However, most of us can’t even fathom what it would be like for our son or daughter to have a life-limiting illness or condition. Sadly, for many families this is a reality. According to the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN), there are currently 21 million children in desperate need of palliative care worldwide. Wow. Enter ICPCN global ambassador Micheline Etkin and Ryan House. Both are working hard to better the lives of children and their families faced with this situation.

Ryan House is an organization located in Phoenix, Arizona that provides palliative care for pediatric patients. It’s one of only TWO such organizations in the U.S., which is shocking to us. If you’re not familiar with what palliative care is exactly, it’s an approach that provides specialized medical and nursing care for people with life-limiting illnesses. This includes providing relief from symptoms, pain and stress to help improve the patient’s quality of life as they deal with a terminal diagnosis, as well as support for their family.

As an avid supporter of children’s causes through her work with ICPCN, Casa Brazil and Cardon Children’s Medical Center to name a few, Micheline works closely with Ryan House. (This amazing lady is also one of our Mom Muses and you can read more about her in this story and this one.) One of her favorite things to do every year is to dress up as a Disney princess for the Ryan House annual Halloween celebration to put smiles on the patients’ faces and show them how much they’re loved by their community. We have photos from this special party to share with you. Feeling inspired? Keep reading to find out how you can help and/or get involved.

Micheline, her son Richard on the left, friend Oscar De las salas, and Micheline’s granddaughter all volunteered at the party and joined in the fun.

Micheline was dubbed Ryan’s House “Special Agent Angel” at the event.

Spidey and Ariel joined Belle as special party guests.

Volunteers from the National Charity League.

Micheline surrounded by Ryan House staff and volunteers.

Micheline with her darling “mini-Belle” granddaughter.

How can you help? Ryan House is 100% funded by donations, so that’s an easy way to help. Simply visit their website for details or to donate online. You can also designate your Arizona Charitable Tax Credit to Ryan House or mark your calendar to attend their White Christmas Gala on December 2, 2017.

In addition, Ryan House has plenty of volunteer opportunities, including joining their Care Team, helping with an event or administrative duties, or joining their Speakers Bureau or Teen Board to help spread the word about this amazing organization. And, the team is always happy to give you a tour of their facility. We’re so lucky to have an organization like this in Arizona. Thank you, Ryan House, ICPCN and Micheline for all that you do to help kids in need!

All photos are courtesy of Ken Ross Photography.

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