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Friends at NIH provides emergency financial support in many forms to patients and families facing medical crises. Less talked about but equally essential to patients and caregivers’ mental health are breaks and outings that many of us take for granted –an evening dinner at a restaurant, a shopping trip, a movie or a sports event. Your generous special gifts often bring heartfelt hugs and letters of deep appreciation, like the following excerpts from a mother’s recent note:

Dear Ms. Therese Draddy (Program Manager)

I wanted to share what the grant meant to us. We were able to use it to network with another family, celebrate a birthday, and decompress.

During his stem cell treatment, my son met (another young man) who had the same condition (Chronic Granulomatous Disease- CGD.) As my son’s care giver, I had the opportunity to network with (the other patient’s) mom which was the first time I met a family with my sons’ condition which occurs in 1: 500,000 people. We talked and talked, and relieved our stress comparing notes and emails.

We were also able to enjoy the movies with what was left on the gift cards. That was my son’s first major outing in 93 days after his stem cell treatment! We really had a relaxing time and were treated royally. We continue to talk about this experience with our friends and family back home.

The outings are valued. Thank you for that gift. We very much needed the break from the intensity and medical concerns. Now we hope to keep striving and improving.

(An appreciative mother)

The Friends of Patients at the NIH