What David's House Means to Me RSS Feed
Home When You can't be Home


A Letter from the Olmstead Family

My daughter is a six year old girl who struggles with epilepsy. We had to go to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center to have a routine EEG done, and that's when we stayed for the first time at David's House. We were overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness the staff and volunteers showed. Even the guests were very kind and social! Arianna felt very at home, running from room to room, finding new things to read and play with. She found a few new kids to play with, too. [...]

As we woke the next morning, we heard the gobbles from wild turkeys as they passed our window. Arianna said, "I want to live here, mom. I had fun!" So again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everyone's compassion. We hope to visit again, soon!

Meet More Guests

Oh, how we have grown!

Thank you, David's House, for being our home-away-from-home for months at a time. It took an immense amount of stress off knowing there was a place for us to stay while our kiddos were in the NICU.

Thank you again,

The Packards of Whitefield, NH


The Magic of Christmas Desserts
To all the staff at David's House,
Thank you so much for all the love and support that you showed to our family during our stay.  Our daughter Isabella was born premature on October 24 at 30 weeks weighing 1 pound 13 ounces and 13 inches long.  It was a long hard road for us and Isabella from October to beginning of March when she finally came home.  She has been home for almost 6 months now and is happy, growing & thriving.  She is trached and on a ventilator but is doing very well.
We were at DHMC for all the holidays!  Thanksgiving, our first anniversary, Christmas, New Years, my birthday & Valentine's Day. It was very hard on us to be away from home & our 3 boys, but David's House really made all the Holidays special.  Every morning I would leave for the hospital & at night would go back to David's House & find a new plate of Christmas desserts left for the guests.  The trials and tribulations of the day would quickly be forgotten after sampling the yummy desserts.
Due to the fact that we live an hour and a half away, we were happy to avoid that commute and very grateful that we had a nice place to stay during our daughter's hospitalization. Thank you David's House!  We will always be thankful for the support that you provided during that time.
Jeff & Laurie

Nourished Bodies and Souls

No parent should ever have to hear the words: ‘Your child has cancer”

We heard those works 8/21/12 when our 11 year old son Eric was diagnosed with Burkett’s Lymphoma Leukemia. It was like being run over by a high speed train. He has just been to over night Cub Scout camp a few weeks before and here we were in the ICU at CHaD. Over the course of the next six month’s Eric would be subjected to high dose short duration chemotherapy. He went from and athletic 80 pound boy to a 64 pound little man. He endured many of the known side effects of the chemo as well as a few that stumped the doctors. He even spent a week in the ICU on a breathing tube to protect his airway from the side effects. As a parent you feel SO helpless. All you are able to due is support, encourage and comfort you child and trust the doctors (who by the way are outstanding!!)

It took a lot for us to leave the hospital and arrange for a room at David’s House. Once there though we found a warm, inviting, compassionate place to nourish our bodies and souls in order to return to our son to help him as best we could to fight this disease. It was our home away from home. Without David’s House our battle for our son’s life would have been much more emotional (as well as financially) exhausting. 

There are not words to express our appreciation to all of the staff and volunteers at David’s House.

Our son is now in remission!!! He is again attending 5th grade, playing flag football and has moved up to be a Boy Scout.

Thank You for Everything!!

Candee, Bill and Eric Adams


The Story of Olivia

My name is Tracy Skrocki, and I have been staying at David’s House since February 20, 2013. I came to stay at David’s House with my daughter, Lindsey Miller, with the birth of my miracle granddaughter, Olivia Ann.

It’s with profound gratitude that I am writing his letter honoring David’s House, its staff, volunteer, and families. First, I would like to share our story.

Olivia Ann was born on February 18, 2013 at 1:36pm. Most families experience this time with joy and excitement. Our family’s experience was much different; heart-pounding fear and panic are more appropriate for our experience. My daughter, Lindsey, was only 24 weeks and 2 days pregnant when she gave birth to Olivia.

 At birth Olivia was 1 pound, 8 ounces, and only 12 inches long. Our family was prepared by various doctors for the worst. In spite of being given little hope for her survival, our family refused to lose faith.

Shortly after the birth, Lindsey was advised that she would be discharged the following day. Nurses at the hospital quickly calmed fears of “What are we going to do?” by advising us about David’s House.

David’s House immediately took both my daughter and I in as if we were family. From the first scary foot stepped into David’s House, we were greeted with understanding and, most of all, support – support from David’s House staff and volunteers as well as support from other families that were going through very similar life-changing experiences.

Without David’s House we would not have been able to afford the trips back and forth from the hospital to home every day, and leaving Olivia was just not an option for us. David’s House took away day-to-day stresses from us so that we could focus on Olivia and her care. Having a safe, clean place to rest our heads and having a healthy meal were things that we did not have to worry about.

In this very tumultuous time, David’s House has been our constant, our rock, and our home, and for that, there are no words to express my gratitude.

Today I’m happy to report that Olivia is 5 pounds and is thriving. She is expected to be discharged from the hospital soon.

This experience has strengthened and brought our entire family closer. David’s House staff and volunteers will forever be a part of our family. We will not forget what they have done and continue to do for us and families like ours.

Tracy Skrocki

"It Really is a Home Away From Home"


We just want to say Thank You again for giving us a "home away from home" for the 5 1/2 months our son was in the ICN. Being close to him meant so much to us, and the support and care we received from David's House helped us hold it together when things rough. When we finally went home, it was bittersweet as we had become close with the staff and other families going through similar battles. We will never forget what you have done for our family. 

- Megan, Ian and Aiden Marcroft





Merry Christmas from the Abrahamsons

"Thank you again for all you did for us and all you do for many others."


Lost without David's House

I am writing to thank you and your wonderful staff for everything you were able to provide me while my son, Luke, was at DHMC. Luke was born 6 weeks early and weighing 5lbs 5oz. The house allowed me to spend so much time with him during his stay and lucky for us, he was able to come home only after 9 days. 

It is amazing what you do and what your "home" provides families. Luke is 2 months old now, and he is amazing! He has grown perfectly.

Keep up your wonderful work, without your support families would be lost!

Best wishes,

Julie, Jake, Grace, Owen, and baby Luke.



Little DART Boy



Forest and Joelle



10 Months and Perfectly Healthy

Just wanted to send another updated picture and another HUGE thank you to the staff on the PICU, CHaD & David's House!

My son is now 10 months old, with a clean bill of health! He went for a check up at 4 months, and at 8 months, he was perfectly healthy both times!

I am so glad David's House was there for us. I currently know a girl that is staying there because her son had complications after being born, and they are having an amazing experience with David's House as well! I hope you realize just how many lives of parents that have children who are sick, so much easier!

You are all amazing, kind hearted & so giving! I couldn't thank you enough! Here is my son, who was there at 3 wks old with a UTI that went septic and made him stop breathing.. he was very sick. A special thank you!

One Year Anniversary

It's Hard to Explain...

Recently, my daughter Paxton, had surgery at DHMC. We live in New Boston, NH which is an hour and a half away. I was able to stay in her room with her at the hospital, but my husband and three other children were welcomed to stay at David's house. We had stayed there as a family two weeks earlier for another surgical procedure, and the relief it gave my husband and I is hard to explain. The staff was wonderful! I just wanted topass along to you that I rave about the house, the hospitality, the cleanliness, and 'just like home' feeling.

Thank you David's House.

8 Months Later

I have written David's House before expressing my gratitude for being there for my family when we were struggling with the early birth of our first child Garrett. I have wanted to send you updated pictures for a while and I finally just got the time to sit down to do so.
Garrett was born at DHMC weighing in at 3lbs 15 ounces, then went down to 3lbs 6ounce. It was a scary time for us, Garrett being our first child, having him come into our lives 8 weeks early and not knowing if he would be ok. We spent 10 days up at Dartmouth and 20 days down at Concord Hospital before we could bring Garrett home. If we didn't have Davids House we would have had to travel over an hour to see our son each day. In an emotional time Davids House helped myself, my husband and my family have a place to rest our heads and collect our thoughts. We were able to focus only on our son and not worry about where we would sleep or eat each day. Davids House truly is a blessing.

Enclosed in this email is Garrett Wade Ux at birth and now, almost 8 months old and 18lbs!

Thank You Davids House!


Blast from the Past

The Carter Family

Thank You

Board of Directors:

I would not have survived my baby's ordeal without the love and support of David's House.

Thank you!

25 Years of David's House: Isabella and Maya

When Isabella and Maya were born at 32 weeks and the ICN told us that we would not be able to go home for at least 5 weeks we were stunned, scared and generally a mess (to say the least).  My wife and I were recommended to stay at David's House.  I toured David's House with a volunteer two days after the girl's arrival.  Now I was stunned at David's House.  There is an amazing amount of food, all of the rooms are beautifully decorated and furnished and all of the staff are wonderful.  The first night without the girls was very tough.  We have been now living here for eighteen days and feel blessed to be here.  We have met many families; some with sad situations and some experiences amazing recoveries.  David's House has made our situation infinitely easier.  Although there is no place like home, David's House is a close second.  Isabella and Maya are doing great and we hope to be home together in Vermont within a couple more weeks.

Tom, Erin, Isabella and Maya

Isabella and Maya Today~

25 Years of David's House: The Olmstead Twins

25 Years of David's House: Tyler

To the Staff of David's House,

I wanted to thank everyone at David's House for helping to make my difficult time a little easier.  My son, Tyler, was born 2 months early and I stayed at the house from April 4th - 10th until he was transferred to Exeter, NH hospital to continue growing.  He's doing so well now, a month later, and will be finally coming home.  David's House was a blessing to me and my family.  I don't know what I wouldv'e done if I didn't have the comfort of the house.

The rooms were beautiful and homey.  I felt very comfortable there.  What a wonderful place and cause it supports.  It is so greatly appreciated beyond words.  When we are able my husband and I will try to help the cause and encourage our family and friends to do so also.  I couldn't think of a better reason to give.  I just can't say enough about the house and the people in it. It really meant so much to have that stability.  Thank you all so very much.  I hope to bring Tyler up to visit soon and would love to come show him off!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

God Bless,
Judy, Michael and Tyler Silverwood

Tyler Silverwood

25 Years of David's House: Cookies and Cupcakes

Dear David's House Staff,

During the week of February 12th, my wife and I had the privilege of staying at David's House while our son Ryan had surgery at DHMC.  We had to write to let you know how much we appreciated the opportunity.  Ryan is an identical twin born at DHMC in September 2000.  We knew that Ryan would need an operation to remove some cysts in his right lung; we just didn't know when it would occur.  We got the call in early February and decided, if there was room available David's House would be a good option.

The support that we recieved from the volunteers and other families at David's House helped us through this very trying and uncertain experience.  There is something comforting  about being able to look into the eyes of another parent who knows what it feels like to have a sick child.  After a long day supporting our son at the hospital, to walk into the David's House kitchen and find a friendly face that had been through the same thing was so reassuring, (not to mention the cookies and cupcakes for Valentines Day)!!

Please find enclosed a donation to help in some way.  I would also like to offer any assistance with plumbing, heating or air conditioning products that might be needed, as I work for a plumbing and heating wholesaler in Manchester.

Thank you so much, and please pass on our sincere thanks to everyone at David's House.

Michael and Diane Fox

Happy Holidays

David's House made our stay at DHMC so much easier for my daughter Jocelyn while we got through our rough start with our new son Jacob. Although we consider our selves so lucky that our stay was very short and our son is doing great. I wanted to thank you for providing such a great service to people who are tossed into such a dramatic experience.

Jacob aspirated and was med-fighted from concord. After 1 day in ICN he took out his own breathing tube and let us know he was ready to come home. After a couple more days of tormenting the nurses we were able to do just that. He’s 7 weeks old now and boy does he have a set of lungs on him.

Happy Holidays!


Jocelyn and Jacob

Saving our Sanity

David's House saved my sanity during my daughter Sally's 2.5 year treatment for leukemia at age 12.  It was literally our home away from home.  Half of our family stayed there when the other half was in the hospital for the 20 hospitalizations.  Sally and I stayed there on the night before early morning procedures, and we made nachos in the kitchen at midnight, right up until the fasting deadline.

David's House was part of how we made things bearable and how we made things fun!

Sally is now 26, healthy, happy, and cured.

Jane Brzozowski

Long Journey

Dear Staff and Volunteers of David's House,

The days slip by; its been over two weeks since I left David's House and moved to the Keene hospital with Aaron.  But I have not forgotten your kindness and the wonderful home away from home feeling that we enjoyed at David's House.  During those stressful days, it was such a blessing to have such a lovely retreat where we could rest.  Thank you for all you do day in and day out to make that possible.

And now, almost 4 weeks after this all began, Aaron is home and we are all together again!  He is doing well, growing and bringing much delight to his four siblings and many others too.  We are so grateful for the kindness of many people like yourselves, who have supported us through this long journey.

May God bless you!

With love & thanks,
Ruth Murray

With thanks



It has been six months since we last had to stay with you, but we often still think about how grateful we are for those long stretches when we were there. It truly is a home away from home. Thank you for all you have done for us and continue to do for others!

Lisa, Eric, Hunter and Jonah


More than a place to sleep

Dear David’s House,

The day our twins, Aidan and Jackson, were born was the most bittersweet day of our lives. At only 33 weeks we knew their hospital stay could be lengthy and that it wouldn’t be close to our home in northern NH.  Immediately after their birth we were all transferred to Dartmouth Hitchcock, which is about 3 hours from home.  The first five nights was fine since we all stayed at the hospital, but after that we were unsure of what we were going to do.  Hotels were expensive and we just couldn’t leave our tiny, new babies and go home.  A nurse told us about David’s House and we called.  They couldn’t take us the first night because they were full but they had room for us after that.

David’s House turned out to be a home away from home.  After long days spent in the Intensive Care Nursery it was so wonderful to only have to drive a minute back to David’s House.  David’s House was not only a place to sleep but a place where we could meet other parents going through the same thing as our family was; a place to gain support and come home and have a clean, safe, and beautiful room to sleep in at night, especially when Matt had to go back to work.  Dinner was available many nights and there was always a warm and caring staff member to ask how the twins were doing.  When other family members were able to come spend the night with us, David’s House was more than accommodating, switching rooms for us or making other beds available.  Our friends and family always felt welcome and often commented on how wonderful David’s House was.

We are so thankful to David’s House for all that they gave to us while our twins spent their first six weeks in the hospital.  We really don’t know what we would have done without David’s House.  We will forever be grateful to the kindness we were showed while our twins grew stronger and were finally able to come home, which happened to be on our 3rd wedding anniversary!

In honor of our twins first birthday and David’s House 25th anniversary, we asked our friends, family and community to help us support David’s House so that other families going through difficult times could have the support we had.  David’s House truly made a difference in the experience we had at Dartmouth Hitchcock.  Please accept our donation in our twins’ names for David’s House.

Forever thankful,

Matthew, Stacey, Aidan & Jackson Smith

When baby comes 8 weeks early

Dear David's House
Thank you so much for everything you did for our family. Without you, I would have slept in my car in one of the parking lots! What you guys do is AMAZING and we all GREATLY appreciate it.

Shyar, Adrian, and Adryon

Kids Making a Difference for Kids

My name is Thomas Elliott, and I am 14-years old. I have been a member of the Pitcher Mountain 4-H Club for the past five years. As part of our club, we have to choose different community services to do. Some we do as a club and others we come up with on our own and can do them on our own.

I have been doing some odd jobs for people and have asked them instead of paying me for the job to please make a donation out to David's House. I hope this helps.

You see, before I was born my parents stayed at David's House when my older brother was born. He was 2 1/2 months premature and was born in Keene and brought to the old hospital in Hanover. He had to stay there for a little over a month before he could come home, so this is one reason I thought of David's House.

Thomas Elliott

Pay It Forward

To Whom It May Concern

How does a parent count his/her blessings? Every night I can tuck my two "babies" in bed, hug and kiss them, and God willing, know that they are healthy. I have the luxury of watching them at baseball games, swim in our pool, and play with their friends on a hot summer day. I know that not every parent can experience these simple pleasures.

BUT, it's places like David's House that helps lighten the load on others' shoulders. We have never had to stay in your facility, but know if the wonderful things you do. For a few years our boys (now ages 9 and 6) have chosen to ask for donations to your home in lieu of birthday gifts. It's a lesson my husband and I hope carries on with them for a lifetime: count your own blessings and then PAY IT FORWARD!

We hope the gifts help you out in some way.

All our best!

Gibson (9 years old), Garrett (6 years old), Gina and Graham

Providing Safety and Comfort

Dear David's House

My husband and I had our twins prematurely at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, which is about two hours way from our home. Tyler and Kayla remained in the hospital after my release for monitoring until they were strong enough to be moved to a hospital in Concord, NH. What David's House provided for us was a safe and comfortable home-away-from-home and the option to be close to them during their stay. The opportunity to be near the kids during that time was priceless and a huge relief.

You may know first hand what it is like to have a child or loved one admitted to the hospital that is far away from home. This is where David's House was a lifesaver.

David's House holds a dear place in my heart, and my husband's. I would like to thank you all for what you do.

Thank you,
The Chandler Family
Mickey, James, Tyler and Kayla


Sharing the Love

If you've ever been to David's House, you know that handmade quilts are very special to us. We have numerous quilters who supply us with the most beautiful creations you can imagine, and we give families who stay with us quilts for all of their children, whether the child stays here at the house or must remain in the hospital. The following letter was sent to us with a quilt that will be given to one of our very special guests.

David's Housekeepers:

  Eleven years ago my family spent a week at DHMC when my youngest grandson was a patient in the PICU on Ped's. He was desperately ill and had been DHART'ed from Laconia. We didn't think he'd survive, and his parents slept in the space just outside PICU. My oldest granddaughter and I were told about David's House, and we were so grateful for the facility. It was amazing that this home was there, complete with quilts and meals and smiling faces.
  My grandson recovered and is now 14. We live in Spokane, WA but my ties are very much to New Hampshire. I graduated from MHMH School of Nursing in 1964 and MHMH School of Nurse Anesthesia in 1974. Along with genealogy research, quilting has been one of my "other than work" pleasures.
  The other day my sister sent me a batch of NH newspapers, and one had an article about David's House. I must say, I had completely forgotten about it. I had finished a "Dolly Dress Up" quilt several months ago but didn't really have a place in mind for it. When I saw the article, it was an "AHA!" moment.
  So please accept this quilt to add to your collection. It will give me great pleasure to think of the comfort it will give to someone else who will be going through what we did all those years ago. Thank you again for the wonderful work you are doing. It means more than you know!

Kathleen M. Westover
Spokane, WA

The value of love

I can attest to the value that David’s House and all the dedicated volunteers and community supporters bring to the families whose children are dealing with life threatening illnesses and conditions. My son Matthew spent a month in the pediatric ICU at Dartmouth in the summer of 2008.  David’s House relieved me of the burden of arranging for hotel accommodations and the travel to and from the hospital.  Most evenings local volunteers and businesses provided meals conveniently available right there at David’s House, within walking distance of the PICU. 

 There was also a strong sense of common purpose among the David’s House volunteers and the families  that were staying there.  We were all pulling for each other in hopes that our children would make it through their ordeals with the best possible outcome.

Please accept our appreciation for the fine work that you do at David’s House and our hope that you will be able to continue this very worthy cause for many years to come.

 God Bless,

Ken Huffman

More than a house

          I had never heard of David’s House until May 22, 2004.  On that day my then 2 year old son Keegan was run over by a lawn mower and DHART’d to DHMC.  The severity of his injuries had my husband and I completely overwhelmed.  We didn’t know if he would live and if he did what his life might be like.  We needed to be able to stay close to him and the hospital for as long as it would take to find out.  We knew we couldn’t go back home and be an hour and a half away from the hospital.  The nurses mentioned David’s House and we jumped at the opportunity.  They were full that first night and we had to stay at the Day’s Inn.  It felt like we were so far from the hospital.  The next night a room opened up at David’s House and we stayed there.  We really had no idea what we were getting into but it was within walking distance to the hospital and was cheaper than the hotel so we went for it.

          I stayed there for the next month while Keegan recovered.  My husband and daughter visited off and on staying a night here and there.  Over that month, the staff, volunteers, and other guests became a second family to me.  Each time I returned to the house from the hospital they would ask how Keegan was doing and what the next steps were.  They always remembered what was said and were genuinely interested in what I had to say.  There were reassuring hugs and promises of thoughts and prayers along the way.  Warm meals were waiting there along with snacks to take with me back to the hospital if I needed them.  It was wonderful to have a place to go to do laundry, shower, take a nap, or just to relax during the day as well as eat and sleep at night.  I loved being able to spend time with my daughter close to but away from the hospital and she was able to have fun playing on the playground at David’s House.

          One notable memory was her birthday.  Keegan was still in the hospital and she and my husband had come to visit.  We had not planned anything special for her since we did not want to leave him.  In the afternoon, after being at the hospital for a while, we headed back to David’s House.  When we walked into our room, there were birthday gifts and a card on the bed.  To this day, I don’t know how they knew, because we didn’t tell them, but the staff had found out that it was her birthday and decided to make it special for her.  It really did make her day special.

          We still go back and stay at David’s House when Keegan has an early morning appointment or surgery.  We are always welcomed.  The staff remembers his name and marvels at his progress.

          So as you can tell, David’s House is not just a house to my family.  It has been so much more.


Linda Ewing

From Grandma

To all the staff and volunteers at David's House,

A heartfelt thank you for the wonderful service and hospitality you provide to the families of Dartmouth-Hitchcock patients. What a godsend you all are.

My first grandson, Dominic, was born 8 weeks premature. It was sucha  comfort to us to know that our daughter Christine had a place to sleep at night, a shower, and a warm meal for the time she needed to care for her son while he was at DHMC. Mom and son are doing great!


Bernadette Meyer

An Aunt's story

I wanted to let you know how much David’s House meant to my family and I. My niece, Jordana has been battling leukemia since Dec. 2009. She was also born with down syndrome and ss an angel from heaven to us, as are all our children. During her battle with leukemia we almost lost her to an ecolli infection, and then again to severe blood clotting. I live 3 ½ hours from you and would rush to the hospital to be by her side with just the clothes on my back and pennies in my pocket. Your staff is so amazing and comforting, always welcoming you into the home so graciously.

When dealing with Jordana being so ill at times, I was so distraught...like I said rushing to be by her side while in the hospital, not thinking of anything else other than seeing her through her battle. I hadn’t eaten in days, or slept for that matter, but one night I almost passed out of exhaustion at the hospital while Jordana was in the intensive care pediatric unit. I knew I had to eat and try to sleep. I came back to your house, had some warm soup and broke down crying. One of your staff just sat with me not saying a word, asked no questions, just gave me the comfort of someone by my side. You are all so amazing!

Jordana is now beating her leukemia. She just celebrated her 15th Birthday and we are looking so forward to celebrating many more birthdays with her. I am so glad that I haven’t had to be at the David’s House in quite some time. But am SO appreciative that you are all there for us when we need you most.

God Bless,

Suzanne Manning

With Gratitude

I can’t believe David’s House will be celebrating their 25th anniversary. The years have certainly gone by fast.

In 1987 our son Michael, at the age of 11 months, was diagnosed with leukemia and our lives came to a screeching halt. Cancer is a devastating diagnosis for anyone, not to mention a child. We quickly learned to take life as it comes – one day at a time. Michael went through treatment for approximately one year and then relapses. He went to Boston Children’s Hospital for bone marrow transplant and after three-and-a-half months of suffering for him, and three-and-a-half months of emotional torture for us, he passed away. The scars we are left with are just under the surface of our very being and somehow we managed to survive the grief at its worst.

Although I never spent a lot of time at David’s House, my husband and son stayed there on weekends. David’s House was “our home-away-from-home” and the staff and volunteers became our second family. I will never forget how peaceful and welcoming David’s House was. I will always be grateful.


Jeannie Fuller

When Accidents Happen, David's House is There

In May of 2009 our son, Danny, had an ATV accident that required brain surgery to remove a clot from his brain. The pediatric neurosurgeon prepared us that we had a "long road" ahead of us. We live over three hours away in Massachusetts and really didn't have enough money for a long hotel stay, and didn't know what we were going to do. The nurses in the CHAD pediatric ICU referred us to David's House so that we could remain close to our son and still shower and get some sleep while he recovered.

We called your number and were welcomed right away. I never expected your house to be so warm and comforting. Everyone was genuinely concerned for our welfare, which is a rare commodity in today's world. As I'm sure you've heard many times before, David's House is like a gift from God for families in need.

As it turned out, we only had to stay one night because by some miracle Danny recovered faster than expected and was released in three days. He is almost back to his old self and is hoping to ride his bicycle and skateboard again.

We will never forget your kindness. God bless you all.

Amy & Daniel Blye

Where a kid can just be a kid
Dear David's House:

We received your request for "thoughts" in support of your 25th anniversary, and my daughter wrote something that she wanted me to send ... unfortunately, she wrote it several weeks ago and I now realize that it's a full week late ! (and she's very anxious to ensure that you get her thoughts), so I will transcribe her writing...

Please know that as a mom, my very favorite thing about her note to you is that, when reading it, you'd have no idea that she's a kid who's had a life threatening blood disease for the last 7 years ... having David's House there for us last January allowed her to be just a kid with a broken arm ... and not a kid admitted to the hospital again for her disease ... thank you, thank you, thank you ...  

The below is written by Dariel Echanis, 9 yrs old:


Winter of 2010 I broke my arm on the first day of winter sports.  So, I was brought to the hospital.  The doctors said I had to stay over night, so they recommended David's House.  David's House makes you feel at home, they have tons of bathrooms with a toilet, a sink, a tub, and a shower.  The volunteers are really nice, their food is great, they have books for all ages, and their bedrooms are cozy!  Every room has a theme, for example, me and my mom's was the Bunny Room.

So, when you want a place to stay when you are sick or hurt, go to David's House, where their top priority is you!


Thank you for being there and for making her forget that she was anything other than just a regular kid.

Carole Echanis
Justin's story told by Mom

It was Christmas time in 1984. Justin would be six January 26, 1985. It was difficult for him to walk, he slept a lot, ran frequent fevers and generally didn't feel good. I carried him everywhere. He missed kindergarten often. We were told that I had spoiled him and he needed a psychiatrist. It was off to the doctors, the hospital for bone scans, orthopedics (finally ending in a cast to make him comfortable) and to an arthritist specialist. The weekend before Christmas it was realized that his sedimetation rate was 73, normal is 7-10, and he had lost 20 pounds. A lot when he weighed 60 pounds three months before. He was finally hospitalized in Concord, NH, but soon released with the choice of going to Dartmouth or Boston for possible cancer treatment. We chose Hanover, which was in the old hospital at the time. We were told to take him home and have a good Christmas and be in Hanover the next morning. The final diagnosis was Leukemia (ALL). Justin responded well to the treatment, hospitalized only nine days the first time. Friends asked if we were staying at David's House. I had no idea what that was. I assumed that no one liked us well enough to tell us about it and I was too shy to ask. Obviously, talk of David's House had spread, but not everyone knew that it wasn't yet open. Finally, we learned that yes there was to be a David's House and work was progressing on the first David's House. We were invited to visit the work in progress. There we met Jane DeGange, Dick and Jerrie Cyr and our mission to do what we could to help the cause began. We raised money under the name of "Friends of Justin Jones" and continued raising funds throughout his illness. I had the pleasure of being able to stay at David's House when Justin contracted chicken pox at week 54 of treatment. He was in the hospital for 13 days and things were not certain about the outcome, but it worked out ok in the end. I was grateful for the opportunity to not only stay at David's House then, but to be able to use David's House while waiting for chemo, as there was always time between blood drawings and the beginning of chemo.

We continued to use David's House, including the new location, until Justin turned 18 and was no longer seen by CHAD. He just turned 31 and continues to do well. It always bothered me that while attending the support groups offered back then, no one ever seemed to come in and share any stories of a long time survivor. Well, here is my chance to make special note of a long time survivor. I would like to thank Jane DeGange, former Director of David's House, for her wonderful caring and understanding; Dick Cyr for his understanding and sympathetic ear at times; and David's House for being the greatest place to stay close to those we love when we need it most. I am grateful to be able to donate to David's House whenever I can (for a number of years I went there and baked cookies and coffee breads at Christmas Time - what a pleasure it was to have two kitchens to work in at the new David's House - and it was such fun). Our local car club continues to donate whenever funds are available. We are a small club, but have had three members that have used David's House over the years.

I hope David's House is able to continue for years to provide that home away from home atmosphere that is so important to families going through such trauma in their lives.

A heartfelt thank you for all you did for my family. Your love and generosity will never be forgotten.

Judy Jones


Brody was born into our big family as child #5. He had many medical issues until his dx of a bleeding disorder when he was 4 months old. He continued to have other GI issues and needed a procedure that had to be done at CHAD. He would need to be monitered closely afterwards for complications and they needed us to be close, and that is when we found out about David's House. We ended up being there a week the first time, and have been back several times since then as Brody has many complications from GI issues and his bleeding disorder.

We don't ever know what the future holds, but we always know that we have David's House, and the amazing supporting staff that we have come to know as our friends over the years! Brody feels safe there, and loved. What more can you want for a child going through poking and prodding than safety and love?! Thank you David's House for giving us love and safety so far from home! You have meant so much to our family over the years.

Taylor's story
In March of 1993, I went into preterm labor with my first child. We were on a ski trip with friends (I was along to relax). I had Taylor in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Taylor was born at 29 weeks, 2lbs. 12 oz.  He was transfered to DHMC.  My husband could only stay for 1 week. He had to go back to work in Maryland, where we lived at the time. I stayed at David's House, at the old site.  It was a place I could cry myself to sleep and rest when I could.  My husband came up every weekend and stayed with me at the house.  Taylor was released to a Maryland hospital after 2 months of staying in NH.  I so appreciated having a place to stay being so far from home and family.  I was thankful David's House existed.  Taylor will be 17 in March. We can hardly believe it, for he was a baby that had lots of ups and downs.  We still have the quilt he received along with a huge scrapbook of his birth.  We thank God for DHMC and David's house and Taylor!!
Gabriels story
On dec. 26, 2008 we were told to prepare to bury our unborn baby. Then 2 weeks later on Jan. 9, 2009, @ 33 wks our son Gabriel was born. We were told that night that he had so much fluid on him that he may not make the night. The nurses @ DHMC told us of Davids house, we called and got on the waiting list for my release date. Gabriel made it thru the night and weekend. Come Monday morning we called the house and there was an opening. This was a God send as we live 2 hours north along the Canadian border in Vermont and were worried about motel and gas costs. For the next 5 months I stayed at davids house as possiable release dates for Gabriel came and went. My husband & 3 other kids would visit and some how the staff would get us all in a big enough room to spend a few precious days together.Our son left the Icn after a long up and down battle. He left with a trach, gtube,a ventaliter and he has down syndrome. Since leaving the hospital/house we have been able to stay a few nights here and there as needed for appointments and even with all of Gabriels equipment we have always been welcomed. Now it is Feb 19,2010 and Gabriel is a year old. We checked into Davids house Jan 28,2010, for an undetermined length of time as Gabriel now has luekmia, AML. He is now in the PICU . We know that along with our DHMC family, our Davids House family will be there for us and we thank GOD for the Cyrs legacy everyday.
A Legacy Lives On

My name is Elissa Powers and my husband, Peter, and I were guests at David's House in August of 2008. We have made a donation to David's House in memory of Peter's younger brother, Sean M. Powers, who was killed by a drunk driver on August 14, 2008. Sean was a Hopkinton police officer who was on his way home from work when his motorcycle was struck from behind. The car was driving 90mph and the two passengers fled the scene, leaving Sean in the road and not knowing the condition he was in.

My husband and I heard about Sean's death from his parents, who rode up to Concord Hospital that morning, driving by the scene of the accident. I was admitted to Concord Hospital the day before, being 34 weeks along with twin boys and not feeling very well. It was a very difficult time for all of us, as it was very unfair for Sean to be taken from us that way. That afternoon I was transferred to Dartmouth Hospital because I was considered high risk. My condition worsened over the day and the doctors at Dartmouth told us that the babies had to be born that day. At 8:07 and 8:08 our two sons, Sean's two nephews, Owen and Evan, were born. They were six weeks early and brought to the NICU where they spent three weeks. As one of Peter's other brother said, "It was a bittersweet day."  One of the saddest but one of the most joyful days of my life, as these babies are Peter's and my first born. Sad not only because we lost Sean, but also because Owen and Evan will never get to meet their wonderful uncle. One of Peter's uncles once told me that Sean did get to meet his nephews because as he was going up to heaven, Owen and Evan were coming down and their paths crossed then. The first few nights after I was released from the hospital were hard for Peter and I, as we never knew where we would be sleeping. The first night we stayed in the birthing pavilion because they had space for us at the moment, but we never knew if they would fill up in the middle of the night and have to move us. We also stayed in the Koala Suite a couple of times but that was never a sure thing. Every morning we would pack up our things, put it in the car, and wait all day to find out where we could sleep that night. It wasn't until we got a room at David's House that we got back to some kind of normalcy. Knowing we had a place to stay, a real bed to sleep in, and didn't have to pack our thing sin the morning was what Peter and I needed after the days we just had.

David's House was like a home to us when we were going through difficult times and didn't want to be too far away from our babies. It definitely helped lift our spirits by taking some of the stress out of the situation. We are very thankful that David's House was there for us, and we wanted to help give a little back. The money in Sean's name was made possible from the 2nd Annual Sean Powers Motorcycle Benefit Ride that took place in July 2009. The ride started by two of Sean's high school friends, and is planned to take place every year. Sean was a very special person to all of us and liked by everyone who knew him. He would want good things to come out of the terrible thing that happened to him so the money donated to David's House is meant to continue providing a wonderful, safe place for people in their time of need. Sean would be grateful knowing that he could be a part of that.

Elissa Powers, Newbury, NH

One Year Later

It is hard to believe that one year has passed since our daughter suffered a fractured spine while snowboarding in New Hampshire with family friends. It is a phone call that no parent ever wants to receive, especially since we were six hours away in New Jersey and had no idea where the hospital was located.

Once we arrived at the CHaD unit we were surrounded by very caring and supportive staff who immediately helped us understand the severity of or daughter's injuries and the subsequent prognosis. They were very compassionate to my daughter, my husband, and me. Since we were from out of state and needed a place to stay, it was then that we learned of David's House. Words cannot express how thankful we were to have this amazing house and all of the amenities available to us. My husband remarked about how peaceful and tranquil it was to wake up in the morning in this beautiful room and look out the window to see the glistening of the freshly fallen snow. This was something that was truly needed in the midst of our despair and traumatic time. It still brings us to tears when we think about this wonderful house and how it came to be. The volunteers working at David's House and those who support it through monetary donations have no idea what an impact they have on families like us who suddenly find their lives turned upside down.

Once again, we thank you for your wonderful work. We will never forget David's House and the love that was shared with us during that time.


Cathy Staszczyk, Hillsborough, NJ.

A Happy Ending

Hello there. This is Kymmy Bent. My son Christopher was born with gastroschisis 6 years ago and through all the hardships we encountered during that time you guys were there. Like angels sent from heaven, you were there. There is no possible way to thank you all for what you've done for our family. We just wanted to send a recent picture of Christopher for you and give you a little update. He is 6 years old now and health as can be (well, we do have precautions). He still sleeps with the quilt made by one of the ladies that was there for us. We thank you again for giving us shelter and hope while we were there - it was the glue that held us together. God bless you all for the love and comfort you give people.


Kymmy Bent,


I am humbled to be a part of David's House

I have been involved with David’s House for well over fifteen years now, all because of the annual KIXX Giving Trees Radiothon held each year just before Christmas. The involvement with this event has led me from event volunteer to where I am today, the Vice President of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Development Committee.
Hearing the stories of families, and talking to the hundreds of donors who give annually at this event and support others throughout the year, pulls at your heart strings with both joy and sorrow. Just thinking of this as I write brings tears to my eyes.
While I have not had children, I thank God every day that I do not know anyone right now who needs to use David's House, and I thank God every day that it is there for those that do need it. It's always with mixed feelings that I am thankful we can help these families but am so sad for them that there is a need for them to be here.
The time I give is but a small sacrifice to help bring some sort of comfort and ease of worry to families in need of David's House.  I am very happy that I'm able to do at least that, and feel it is never enough.
Being a part of David's House and a Board Member is by far the highest honor yet bestowed upon me in my lifetime, and it is heartfelt when I say thank you for letting me be a part of this little boy's dream.

April May Preston
Vice President

Carol's Story

It all started when I was eight years old. I was sleeping and then I woke up with a pain in
my hands. My parents tried everything but nothing worked – the pain always came back.
So then I went to the Elliot Hospital and then was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic
Leukemia (ALL for short)/ I was then transferred to Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth
(CHAD for short). After 3-4 weeks of being treated I got to go home. During my
radiation is the first time I went to David’s House.  Everybody is so nice and friendly and
every time I need a place to stay for a few days I always think about David’s House.  On
my eleventh birthday, instead of getting presents like every other boy and girl wants, I
decided my party would be to raise money for David’s House because they always help
everyone else so I just wanted to give back. That day I raised $868 for David’s House.
Now it’s 2007 and I don’t have leukemia anymore, but I still go and visit David’s House
when I go for check-ups in Lebanon.
David’s House means a lot to me because it’s like a home away from home. Your family
can stay together and you also you get to meet kids that have been through the same thing as you and know how it feels to be different from kids that aren’t sick. David’s House means so
much to me that sometimes I wish I could just live there because all of the people and
kids there know what it feels like to have cancer.
I want to thank you ladies for donating to David’s House because I’ve been involved in
fundraisers at my school for David’s House and its very important to keep David’s House
Thank you very much.
Carol Shepard



"Thanks for a comforting, welcoming atmosphere. A sweet and generous haven from the stress and worry about a very sick child."

"We don't have a car, and because of David's House, we were seconds away from our little girl."

"When you walk in from spending an extraordinarily stressful day at the hospital, tired, weary, scared, and forlorn, you immediately feel a sense of comfort and peace. It's difficult to explain."

"Honestly, I don't know what we would do without your support."

Meet More Guests

Copyright © David's House, 2016