Posted by Bob Hermann on Nov 09, 2023
A new grant partner for the Rotary Club of San Francisco is Family House, a home away from home to provide physical comfort and emotional support free from financial concerns to families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. On November 7, Immediate Past President Christopher Wiseman along with his spouse Eric Sleigh and Club Members Alisha Marfatia, Dan Joraanstad, Bill Gregory, Nancy Graydon, Margaret Miley, and me (Bob Hermann) joined Family House Volunteer Coordinator Terrence Dixon to clean and sanitize kitchen and common areas, offload and distribute meals to those living at Family House, and interface with these families. Club Secretary Nancy Graydon even provided coloring books to the children.
The best part was the welcome and appreciation that we received for listening to these families and hearing their stories. Imagine that! Taking time to thank us for our work and support when these families are at the lowest in their lives with a critically ill child.

Two stories stood out. First is the story of a six-day-old boy born with cardiomyopathy (chronic disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body). The mother and grandparents described how exhausted they were and grateful to Family House and to UCSF Medical Center for the fine, medical expertise, The daughter broke into tears of appreciation as did Margaret and me.
The second story is that of a four-year-old boy with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which is a malformed left side of the heart. The father told us that his son had to come back for his third heart operation and was very appreciative of the services at Family House and the medical care provided. To the amazement of our group, the boy was doing remarkably well after one month. In just a few days, a new baby will join this family. 
Partnering with Family House was a win-win for all. Thank you to our great team and its efforts to serve these families in need.

Back Row: Alisha Marfatia, Eric Sleigh, and Christopher Wiseman
Front Row: Dan Joraanstad, Bill Gregory, Nancy Graydon,
Family House Volunteer Coordinator Terrence Dixon, Margaret Miley, and Bob Hermann.