Who’s “Crushing” It?

by Tara Voorhis

Published on December 8, 2020

Meet CIENNA, she is seven years old, has the spirit of a warrior, plays the ukulele AND has stage 3 Diffused Large B-cell Lymphoma. Earlier this year Cienna started receiving treatment at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Her mom, Rachelyn, created a Facebook page to chronicle her journey: Cienna Crushes Cancer.  Given that her home is in Humboldt County, some five and half hours from the hospital, Cienna, her dad, stepmom, mom, brother, and sister stay at Family House in San Francisco  while she receives care. 

Cienna wearing Wonder Woman tshirt and headband while in hospital bed

“Family House is pretty much my home, because we’ve been here for a long time” – Cienna

Over the last six months, Cienna and her family have gotten to know the staff and volunteers at Family House. It has come to be their home away from home. And, as you might suspect, they have all found their favorite hangout spots. Cienna and her siblings especially like the courtyard (the rocking chairs are their favorite.) 

While staying at Family House, families are able to partake in some of the same activities they would at home, like arts and crafts, storytime, music lessons, birthday parties and more. Although typically offered in person, we are now offering as many of these virtually as possible. 

So, Cienna has taken virtual music classes with Paul Goold, Director of Family Services—learning to play her very own pink ukulele; has danced her heart out in a Zoom dance party with our community partner, Kids Kicking Cancer; and celebrated her 7th birthday all while being treated at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Family House is more than a place to shelter, we strive to be a home away from home for all the kids and families that walk through our doors.

“Thank you to every single person at Family House who has helped ensure that our load would be a little less heavy.  Kindness is always important and it shines bright at Family House.”  – Rachelyn, Cienna’s mom

At Family House we rely solely on the generous contributions of donors to support children like Cienna and their families while they experience some of the most difficult times in their lives.

When you make a gift to Family House San Francisco you are giving to families in their deepest time of need.  Now, more than ever families need a safe and clean place to return to from the hospital.

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Your donation helps support kids like Cienna. Every gift counts!