Those of us who live in Charlottesville often take for granted the world-class UVA Children’s Hospital in our own backyards. For other families, particularly those with children diagnosed with serious illnesses, the Children’s Hospital becomes a temporary focal point in their lives. Families needing to stay in Charlottesville while their children are hospitalized or undergoing extended treatment face multiple challenges. Concerns about family, work, finances, travel, lodging, and meals must be addressed. The UVA Children’s Hospital Housing Collaborative, of which the Yellow Door Foundation is an integral part, addresses one of the most basic needs - assisting families in securing “a place to stay while your child receives treatment.” Removing the housing angst is important on two fronts - it addresses a critical need and frees families from the worry of finding safe and affordable lodging while they are here. Clearing this hurdle positions them to be more active care partners in their children’s treatment and recovery. It follows that we are proud and happy to support The Yellow Door Foundation.
- Doug and Nancy Caton
“Since Yellow Door Foundation opened its doors a short time ago, they have already made a significant and long-lasting impact on the lives of our patients. Several pediatric oncology and transplant patients and their families have been able to stay in these beautiful apartments while receiving treatment at UVA Children’s Hospital. Without Yellow Door Foundation, these patients would have had to stay in the hospital for a prolonged length of time due to lack of housing or transportation. Instead, they were able to live at their “home-away-from-home”, sleep in their own bedroom, cook their favorite foods, and enjoy the pleasant amenities of these apartments. Very often, Yellow Door Foundation has been a bright light during a very dark stretch of time for these children and their parents. We are enormously grateful to Yellow Door Foundation for their generosity and compassion for our patients.”
– Brian C. Belyea, MD
University of Virginia Medical Center.
Make a Difference!
“I want to share this testimony not only to show how great God is, but to highlight an amazing foundation that the world needs to know about. On September 18, 2018, I met with JoAnne McTague the founder of Yellow Door Foundation. Yellow Door provides apartments for families of immunocompromised patients, including children with cancer, and children listed for transplant.
God opened a door for me and my family that provided a place where we can all be together during Khansaa's wait for a new heart. All I had to do was bring what I had with me when I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald House was a tremendous blessing as well, however, due to communal living where there are shared spaces with other families, it would not work for an immunocompromised child. Everything from antibacterial paint to engineered hardwood flooring, great detail and care went into making this space suitable for a patient like Khansaa once discharged from the hospital.
I cannot thank Yellow Door enough for their kindness and determination to make a difference. They are providing a much-needed resource for families like mine and will need as much support as possible to continue doing so."
Khansaa's mom Sephida
from Luis' sister Ana:
"Luis has been going through a very long and hard journey since he got diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at age 15. Four years of commuting to Charlottesville has really become an issue. After getting chemo therapy, Luis doesn’t feel good. All he wants is rest, and traveling in a car for hours doesn’t help.
The YELLOW DOOR FOUNDATION has been a blessing to our family. Now when Luis goes to UVA for treatment, we can go to the apartment and rest until he feels good enough to travel back home. We are tremendously thankful to the YELLOW DOOR FOUNDATION and all the people that make this possible - for giving out this helping hand to us and to all those families that are going through a hard time with their loved ones. Thank you very much and God bless."
"Luis ha tenido una batalla larga y dura desde que fue diagnosticado con Sarcoma de Ewing a los 15 años, después de tanto viajar y venir de casa 2 horas de camino ah terminado por cansarlo mucho, cuando el toma sus tratamientos se siente muy cansado y lo único que quiere es llegar a casa y descansar pero las 2 horas de viaje no ayudan es por eso que la fundación The Yellow Door ah sido de gran bendición para nuestra familia ya que cuando Luis sale de tomar quimioterapia podemos llevarlo al departamento en donde puede descansar hasta que se sienta mejor para viajar a casa nosotros le estamos profundamente agradecidos a la fundación The Yellow Door y a todos lo que hacen esto posible por otorgarnos esta gran ayuda."
Luis lost his fight with Ewing Sarcoma On August 26, 2018
"Families who are caring for a seriously ill child feel vulnerable. Having the Yellow Door apartments removes so much stress, allowing caregivers to focus on their child. This made our commitment to sponsor one of the apartments an easy decision."
– Clare Hart, Yellow Door Sponsor
“While my son Jacob was hospitalized for a heart transplant, The Yellow Door Foundation allowed my family to stay in a very home-like setting. During our stay, my daughter Elaynah loved walking around, going to all of the "parks", to see the pond and the play area in the clubhouse. It allowed our family to have a home away from home. It allowed our son Jacob, who is immune-suppressed, to stay away from other families and children and heal properly. Yellow Door provided more than anyone could ask for, (pack-n-play, bath towels, extra bedding, throw blankets, etc.) We were able to have a very peaceful and stress-free stay!”
– Jacob’s mother Allie
“Thank you again for your kindness towards my daughter and her family. I can't imagine how overwhelmed she must feel. Dealing with a sick child alone is heartbreaking. She has been with Raegan 24/7 since she became Ill. I am so proud of the strength she has shown. I can see the worry and pain in Tami's eyes, and it breaks my heart for her. Thank you for making it possible for her and Raegan to have some normalcy within the family unit. They have a long road ahead. Your foundation has been a God sent for them. Thank you.”
– Raegan’s grandmother Wiletta
"I am so happy to be a Yellow Door contributor. I know JoAnne and her great big heart very well. She is doing exactly what she is meant to do, and I am honored to help her in any way I can. Setting up my donations to go automatically on a monthly basis ensures that the money is consistent and goes where it is needed most. Kuddos to JoAnne and her team! I hope that as people read this, they will decide to contribute as well."
– Judy Viera
“When it comes to support, unparalled hospitality and love for our precious Khansaa and ourselves, the Yellow Door Foundation is in a class by itself.”
– Khansaa’s father David
“The stay has been peaceful and enjoyable. Wonderful people, who have a heart to help others. I cannot thank Yellow Door enough for our stay while Malakai was in the hospital.”
-Malakai’s mom Karessa
“Our experience with Yellow Door was amazing – the stay and the place was so cozy, quiet, and the people were very supportive. Our days were incredible, full of adventures. To be able to enjoy everything after having gone through so much after four long months in the hospital was a blessing. Thank you very much YELLOW DOOR.”
-Joshua’s mom Paulina
"Yellow Door has been a God-sent blessing for our family. When you are so far away from home and seeking the medical care that your loved one so greatly needs, it was a relief to know that we had a place to stay, and it was so close to the hospital as well. It has made this journey so much easier. Silas loved the apartment because it felt like home. We thank you for all you have done for our family and will do for so many others in need. May God continue to Bless Joanne & Yellow Door! ❤ "
– Silas’ grandmother Cindy
“16 year-old Grayson came to UVA Medical Center on April 6 because he suddenly was unable to walk. His spinal cord tumor, originally diagnosed at age 5, had grown. The new diagnosis was Stage-4 Glioblastoma. A few days later he suffered from a pulmonary embolism, and it was determined that he had a stroke. After 33 days in the hospital, Grayson is in rehab trying to regain strength and hopefully walk again. His family is so grateful to the Yellow Door Foundation for allowing them to use one of the apartments, which is a true haven and a blessing to be able to stay together as a family.”
– Grayson’s mom Kara
"Tragedy strikes many families in many ways. Ours was learning that 11-year old Thomas and his mother Mia had cancer at the same time. While Mia was being treated in Winchester, Tommy was referred to the UVA Children's Hospital in Charlottesville. Once there, we learned that the Yellow Door Foundation would make available a nice apartment for those family members who were helping with Tommy's care. On those occasions when Tommy was able to leave the hospital, his spirit and attitude seemed to be lifted at the thought of going "home" to the apartment. While eating very little at the hospital, he always had an increased appetite when he was "home." While Tommy and his mother have a long way to go in treatment, we feel we should offer our most sincere thanks for the wonderful service and shelter provided by the Yellow Door Foundation. Respectfully and Gratefully."
- Tommy's grandparents Ron and Sande
"Having worked in pediatric healthcare for many years, I have experienced the struggles with our families having to choose between being with their hospitalized child and/or not being able to have their entire family nearby due to distance and limited local lodging options. Yellow Door has been a blessing to so many families living with a child with immunocompromised care needs. Yellow Door is committed to helping families stay together during a time when the entire family needs to feel normalized during a child/sibling’s health crisis/challenge."
– Lisa Repaske, MSW LCSW
University of Virginia Children's Hospital
“Our family had the opportunity to stay at one of the YELLOW DOOR apartments in April 2020. Our son Zeke was inpatient at UVA hospital receiving Chemotherapy for MDS/AML. The nation was shutting down due to COVID-19, making housing quite the challenge. The minute I spoke with JoAnne at Yellow Door, she was full speed ahead at working to get our family in a home together.
The minute we walked in to the YDF apartment, we were overwhelmed. Yellow Door has worked so hard to provide a clean & germ-free space for families. This is always a relief for families, but with COVID exploding, it was especially true.
Yellow Door does much more than just provide a home. It gifted our family time and memories. The apartment is stunning with little touches that just bring joy from the burst of color on the patio, to the large beanbag and basket of kids things, to the comfortable pillows that are far better than the plastic wrapped hospital ones. These little things show the personal care of the people behind Yellow Door. You feel the love and care from the minute Yellow Door connects with you.
Our stay was filled with nature walks around the complex, father-daughter date days on the porch, laughter on the playgrounds, snuggles to Netflix, and rest in the cozy apartment. We are so thankful for the way Yellow Door, and especially Joanne, provides for families in the midst of a personal health crisis. They relieved a financial burden and provided a home away from home.
Much love from the Puig family!”
- Zeke's mom