Project Joy & Hope Staff,
Please let me start off by saying, "there are truly not enough words to express to you the greatness of your organization!" My son and I have not been here long, but immediately upon arriving from Michigan felt at ease. Dr. Jan Wheeler is an absolute GEM! For those of you that don't know me, my name is Shannon Wood. My husband Mike and I have four children, Hayden our oldest is 14, then Cody who is 12, Megan she's 10 and our youngest Shelby who is 9. We live in the little town of Carleton Michigan. Unfortunately 2020 hit our family different than most, in the middle of a global pandemic our son Cody was diagnosed with PPFE (an extremely rare lung disease) on August 6th 2020 and is now currently receiving care at Texas Children's Hospital while he waits for a double lung transplant. However, this is not Cody's first life threatening diagnosis, (at 18 months old he was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma), but this is the first time he has been away from his dad, his brother and his sisters. And it is his first time receiving care away from our home in Michigan.
Cody had his transplant evaluation the 3rd week of December at TCH, and we knew if he was accepted Cody and I would need to relocate very quickly. We live in a pretty small town with a population of only about 3000 and we had never been to Texas prior to the evaluation, so Houston was an extremely scary thought...especially for me. Not only was I going to be taking care of our medically fragile child by myself, I was also going to be 1500 miles away from anyone I knew, in an unfamiliar "super busy" city. I spent countless days researching Houston, places to stay, and how I was going to make this work with as much ease as possible all while keeping our financial situation in the back of my mind (because unfortunately money, finances and budgeting doesn't just go away when you are fighting for your child's life). It was only about 4 days before we received the call that Cody was accepted on the transplant list, that our social worker at TCH called to tell me about an organization "Project Joy and Hope" that had a possible opening for one of their apartments. Of course I immediately went to work finding as much information as I could on this blessing! And that, in short is exactly what Project Joy & Hope is - an absolute BLESSING! I read reviews, watched YouTube videos and even studied the PJH Facebook to learn as much as I possibly could about its "everything."
As wonderful as it seemed from afar, it didn't come close to the actual awesomeness of this place until we arrived and saw it firsthand. Upon arriving, Dr. Wheeler was here to welcome us; I immediately felt the weight and worry of the prior weeks lifted. And pleas know your generosity wasn't only felt by our immediate family. After learning about what Project Joy & Hope was formed from, my mom felt relief knowing that her only daughter and youngest grandson were going to a safe community, full of compassionate individuals there to help when needed. Along with the kindness that makes up your staff, the entire property itself is incredible. The home unit we are staying in is absolutely beautiful! It has everything, literally everything a home normally has right down to the salt and pepper shakers. I had us unpacked and comfortable within the first couple hours of arriving here. And within the first 4 days, I have familiarized myself with the town of Pasadena. I quickly realized that Project Joy & Hope is located at the perfect distance of TCH but without the "busyness" of downtown Houston. I can't tell you how much I look forward to my other 3 children coming down to visit us now, just knowing that they will be comfortable visiting as in an actual home! Everything fell into place for us perfectly once we were introduced to your organization and Thanks to your help I have been able to focus on getting my son healthy again. Your kindness is tremendous and we will forever be grateful for everything you all have done for not only us but for all the other families you have helped beyond measure! Thank you, really. Thank you.
GOD Bless you,
Shannon Wood & Family