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Alleluia Story: Haven of Hope for Kids

Tierra at Haven of Hope for Kids
By: Pam Faris, Executive Director, Haven of Hope for Kids

Since 2005, Haven of Hope for Kids has provided cost-free country retreats for more than 250 urban families caring for a child with a life threatening illness. Visiting families stay for up to six days in our fully equipped, handicap-friendly cottage. All costs for these visits, including food and transportation, are provided by our mission.

Many of our guest families are sharing a first and last family vacation with their terminally ill child. We would like to share Tierra’s story.

Tierra stayed at our cottage with her family during her initial treatment for cancer in the summer of 2006. In 2008, Tierra’s rare and aggressive cancer returned and this time, the medical procedures were no longer working. Tierra knew that her condition was considered terminal and her ultimate wish was to relive the happy memories of her Haven of Hope family vacation.

Although Tierra was gravely ill during her second visit, she took comfort in knowing she was back in “her cottage.” Tierra’s family was able to spend uninterrupted time together, praying, holding Tierra’s hand at her bedside, and caring for her.

Tierra died peacefully just hours after returning home from this final visit, but her family was so grateful that they were able to share Tierra’s final days in the place that held such happy family memories: the cottage in Hope.

Haven of Hope for Kids marks its 10-year anniversary in 2014, thanks to the commitment and support of the Alleluia Fund for Outreach, our Episcopal Diocese, St. Luke’s Church in Hope, NJ, and our many generous volunteers and supporters.