ReUNITED by Brent's Place
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
REUNITED by Brent's Place is a digital engagement campaign designed to reunite our community through storytelling. Here on our blog, and across social media channels, we will turn the spotlight on the many faces that make up our Brent's Place family from current and past residents to donors, partners, staff, and volunteers.
Typically, during this time of year, we would come together for our annual Brent's Place Block Party event and Family Reunion celebration. Since it is not safe to gather past families and hundreds of supporters together this year, we invite you to reconnect with Brent's Place, virtually.
Scroll down for new stories and campaign updates.
That feeling you get when you're ReUNITED during a pandemic.
Giving is great, but there are other ways that you can help us make a splash:
1. Tell a friend to follow us on Facebook or Instagram. 2. Share your favorite memory of Brent's Place in the comments section or tag us in your social media post. 3. Repost our campaign messages to amplify our voice.
The Henderson Family moved into Brent's Place in September 2013. Since departing in 2014, they have come back to attend our Block Party event five years in a row. In place of a giant Brent's Place group hug, they agreed to reunite with us by sharing their story:
(From Amanda Henderson) "My husband was in grad school at the time and so wasn’t able to move with us for (our son) Parklen’s treatment. At that time we had three kids; the oldest was the donor for Parklen and we had a little five-month-old baby.
The social worker told us about Brent’s Place, and it seemed important to have people around us. Initially, we lived there for about 6 months. We weren’t allowed to do group activities because of Parklen’s fragility, but staff would take time with our family so we got to have those connections. We knew all the staff and they knew our kids. Having people to connect with when you’re going through such a hard time is really important. And not worrying about what you’re going to eat or how you’re going to pay for your accommodations – it was all such a blessing to have those things taken off our plate when everything else was so hard. And since we were so far from home, having our own apartment to feel like a home was just lifesaving for us.
Even after coming home, we were returning every month for appointments -- sometimes once a week. And Brent's Place always had a place for us."
Thanks to our generous matching sponsor, The Karen and Steve Leaffer Family, you can double your impact and ensure families battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses have a place to call home while they receive treatment at a local hospital.
When the pandemic first hit, Snooze was one of our first partners to reach out and ask how they could use their resources to help support the families living at Brent's Place. While the shutdown nearly halted their business, the Snooze family gave from their hearts and delivered complimentary breakfast (that nearly 800 pancakes) for 11 straight weeks.
Food security for our families has been one of the top priorities for Brent's Place staff. Relieving the very real fear and danger our vulnerable population faces when venturing out into the greater community for basic needs became a necessary safeguard.
Charlene has been volunteering at Brent's Place for more than 5 years, primarily as a
regular front desk aid and event volunteer. To say her welcoming presence is missed these days is a grand understatement.
The nearly 700 volunteers that support our operations are truly an extension of Brent's Place staff, and we could not provide compassionate and individualized care
Charlene, we're so happy to be ReUNITED with you for this little walk down memory lane:
Q. What inspired you to donate your time to Brent's Place?
A. I lost my husband, Dave, to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2012. He was in the process of getting his bone marrow transplant when his cancer returned. I remember feeling so grateful for the help that I received from family and friends and also feeling overwhelmed. My hope is that I honor him by helping Brent’s Place families as I understand what they are experiencing. The families, patients, and staff are so amazing and inspiring!
Q. What is your most fond memory at Brent's Place?
A. The party water balloon fights that the kids, families, and volunteers all love and end up soaked!
I also have a very special memory of Greyson on an outing at the Denver Botanic Gardens. He was wearing a mask and his hat (no hair) and he saw a woman who looked really sad. This sweet, thoughtful little boy, who didn’t feel well, reached out to this woman and asked her if she would like to smell something really good. She looked at him and she said that she really would. He gave her a crushed sage leaf and with tears in her eyes she said “you made my day” and he told her that she made his day too.
Charlene, we miss you! Thank you for your dedication to service. You make our day every time you volunteer.
Give in honor of volunteerism: https://bit.ly/reunitedbybp
Brent's Place staff share a love of service to our families, but we are unique in what
inspires our work. The ReUNITED by Brent's Place campaign provides the perfect opportunity to turn the spotlight inward and learn why our employees give their time and talents to this great organization.
First up is Executive Assistant to the CEO, Anne Petrucci who says:
"I love Brent's Place because of the dedication and joy the Brent's Place community shares in providing a safe clean home for families."
Anne is a DIY extraordinaire and multi-tasking Queen! We're so grateful to have her as part of the Brent's Place family.
Amplify the good! Learn how you can double your impact today: https://bit.ly/reunitedbybp
The name 'Esther' is probably familiar for our Brent's Place regulars - new friends, you're in for a treat! As a 2019 spokeschild, this sweet child and her family shared their story online and at our signature events, helping to bring a face to our mission out in the greater community.
We ReUNITED with this beautiful family and asked them to share one of their favorite Brent's Place memories:
(From Sam, Esther's mom) "The day that Esther got to “come home” to Brent's Place from the hospital after her stem cell transplant. It was really fun! Everyone was watching out the windows. There were kids watching from the balconies as she arrived. She
had been in the hospital for a while, so it had been months since everyone had seen her.
We took turns staying at Brent’s Place while Esther was in the hospital. But the day she got out, everyone was there to greet her! This was during Christmas time, so we had a little Christmas celebration and everyone put on their Christmas clothes and opened gifts. Esther and her twin sister, Zinnia, had a birthday while Esther was in the hospital. So we did a birthday celebration as well. It was so fun!"
Even during the pandemic, holiday and birthday celebrations remain a special part of our programming. Thanks to the generosity of birthday sponsors and our partners at D Bar, we can help families make happy memories during their medical journey.
Read more of Esther's story
Dinner time at Brent's Place is normally filled with the busy hands and full hearts of our volunteers. Since suspending on-site volunteer roles in March, many of our volunteers have invested financially in the organization by sending in donations, activity supplies and even catered meals for our families. One such person is our long-time friend Chris Starks (a.k.a Mr. Lasagna Wednesday) who has been a loyal volunteer for 12 years and delivers lasagna once a month, EVERY month.
With staff being the only means to dish up meals 3-4 times a week, our appreciation for the roles our volunteers play has been deepened. We ReUNITED with Chris to learn why he donates his time to our organization:
(From Chris Starks) "If I am able to do something or provide something that can positively impact the life of a kid with cancer and/or their family - no matter how small that impact is -it is all worth it. If providing a meal to the family allows the parent even 10 extra minutes in their day, and is one less thing for them to have to worry about as they support their kiddos healing, a small difference has been made for them. This is why I donate my time to Brent’s Place and will continue to do so until childhood cancer is completely eradicated, or until Brent’s Place asks me to leave. ;)
I can’t wait to see the kids again and be with the families. These last several months I truly have missed not physically being with the Brent’s Place community - the kiddos and their families, Brent’s Place staff, and the other volunteers. "
Chris, we miss you too and thank you for standing by us through it all.
All week, the ReUNITED by Brent's Place campaign has been sharing stories and
recognizing the people that make our "place" so special. But we're not done yet! Stay tuned this weekend for more family, sponsor, and staff profiles.
Next up is our Controller and leader of the Fabulous and Awesome team (a.k.a Finance and Administration), Barb Heverly who says:
"I love Brent's Place because I get to bring my heart to work every day."
We're so fortunate that she shares her heart and brilliant number-crunching mind with the Brent's Place family.
Speaking of numbers, BIG thanks (and virtual hug) to the generous donors that have ReUNITED with us to help us raise more than $10,000 toward our $40,000 campaign goal.
Learn how you can double your impact today and support more families in need.
It's the five o'clock hour and the day is done, but for our partners Williams Dental Implant & Oral Surgery a good deed never clocks out.
Thank you Dr. Bryce Williams for honoring your commitment to supporting Brent's Place even though your sponsorship at this year's Brent's Place Block Party can not be realized.
If you find your self or your family in need of expert dental care delivered in a relaxed and comfortable matter, head over to Williams Dental Implant and Oral Surgery and tell them their friends at Brent's Place say hello!
We hope to be ReUNITED with you all at Block Party 2021!
Join Dr. Williams to ensure that families with a loved one in medical crisis have a home away from home in their time of need: bit.ly/reunitedbybp
And they're off!
This weekend, we would have sounded the horn for what has become a sort of victory lap for Brent's Place families at the annual Block Party (formerly Kids' Cure) event.
The course, which winds through the Anschutz Medical Campus, passes by partner hospital UCHealth and Children’s Hospital Colorado. This ceremonial walk/run allows participants to reflect on their loved one's medical journey and the friends, some now angels, that helped them along the way.
Although we can not be together to celebrate and comfort one another, we are so thankful for this year's Brent's Place Block Party Presenting Sponsor, Lokal Homes for their continued support.
Lokal Homes is a Colorado-based home builder that takes pride in their communities and are careful to select locations with easy access to major highways, shopping, dining, and entertainment. In addition to lifestyle needs, their communities are outfitted with beautifully crafted homes, tailored to families and people just like you!
"We believe in bettering all communities, not just where we build, and we are committed to giving back."
Lokal Homes is not just an event sponsor, but also an incredible partner here at Brent's Place. They invest in our mission financially and donate their time to show how much they care.
Until we can be ReUNITED once again, please help use ensure there is a home away from home for families dealing with a medical crisis: https://bit.ly/reunitedbybp
The ReUNITED by Brent's Place campaign is still going strong, connecting our community through storytelling!
This week, we'll continue to introduce you to the people that make Brent's Place a one-of-a-kind, home away from home.
Next up is a man that needs no introduction, our Family Services Director Allen Browning. We don't play favorites at Brent's Place, but if we did, you would likely find Allen's name at the top of everybody's list!
For more than a decade, Allen has shared his heart and talents with Brent's Place to build what is now a thriving Family Services program that offers individualized and compassionate support to every family that walks through our doors.
Allen says, "I love working with families." Plain and simple. Allen comes to work every day to serve - and he does it all with a giant grin on his face (the greater the challenge, the bigger his smile gets).
If Allen has brought sunshine into your world, consider lighting the path for another with a donation in his honor: https://www.classy.org/cam…/reunited-by-brents-place/c293586
Throughout the pandemic, Brent's Place has been vigilant in safeguarding our facilities in an effort to keep this dangerous virus from spreading among our vulnerable population.
While the protocols in place have helped to ensure the safety of the entire Brent's Place community, the absence of visitors and volunteers has left us all longing connection. We recently had the opportunity to be ReUNITED through story with one of our newer families. The Cook family moved in 4 months ago and plan to be with us through the early fall.
(From Dawn, Larissa's mom) "Brent's Place has been one of our biggest blessings during this difficult time for our family. We spent the first 2 months completely separated causing so much anxiety and heartache. Being accepted into one of the apartments meant that we all got to be together again.
Brent's Place is our place to call home since we live 5 hours away and aren’t able to return home until treatment is complete. I get to focus 100% of my attention on the needs of Larissa. They’ve helped provide groceries when I couldn’t make it to the store. They’ve helped provide meals either for breakfast or dinner leaving me with extra time to spend with my family. They’ve helped provide supplies for art and crafts, cakes and presents for birthdays (all 3 of our children have had a birthday during our stay here), cleaning supplies for the apartment, and always a friendly smile and helping hand. Everyone at Brent's Place helped turn my world back around after it had been turned upside down.
With all of the stress that comes with going through chemotherapy and BMT, it was nice to not have to stress about all of those extra everyday needs. Especially going through this during the current pandemic. They’ve always taken care of as much as possible to help keep our family safe. In ONE word I’d say Brent's Place is DIVINE"
Thank you, Dawn, Josh, Layla, Logan, and Larissa for sharing your story. We're honored to be part of your circle of care.
Help us care for families like Larissa's: https://www.classy.org/cam…/reunited-by-brents-place/c293586
Through the ReUNITED by Brent's Place campaign, we hope you have felt more
connected to our mission. The stories shared represent only a sampling of our nearly 700 volunteers, and just a fraction of the community partners, donors, staff, and families that form Brent's Place. For everyone in the extended Brent's Place family, far and near, we thank you for standing by us!
One of our volunteers, Caitlin McPherson, knows a thing or two about loyalty and service. She has been volunteering her time at Brent's Place since she was 14 years old. While she is unable to visit with us in person, we are happy to be ReUNITED through her words:
(From Caitlin Mcpherson) "The Brent’s Place mission, “To provide Safe-Clean housing and improve the quality of life for children and families living with cancer and other immunocompromising conditions… one day at a time” is fully embodied in every single component of Brent’s Place. From walking into each building being greeted with a smile to hosting annual family reunion weekends, it is evident that the care Brent’s Place has for every single person who walks through their doors is genuine and life-changing.
While each family at Brent’s Place shares one commonality, their experiences are unique. Brent’s Place recognizes this and consistently meets each family right where they are in order to best support each individual's needs. This authenticity is what connects me with the Brent’s Place mission.
I love going into Brent’s Place and knowing that no matter the time or day, there is always something that can be done to provide help. Not once has there been a sense of complacency in what is being done; it is always a conversation of what can be done next, what can be done differently, and what can we do to improve.
The first word that comes to mind when I think of Brent’s Place is 'Family'. The genuine connections that are formed, wholesome memories that are made, and candid conversations that are had will always be something I cherish as well as something I cannot wait to get back to when it is safe."
Join Caitlin and support our mission today! https://bit.ly/reunitedbybp
The ReUNITED by Brent's Place campaign has allowed us to reflect on the many faces that make up the Brent's Place family, including our team members.
Next up is Family Services Coordinator, Justin Gorrie (Justin At Brent's Place). Justin's work on the Family Services team is heart-led. He acts as a true advocate and ally to our families and is a thoughtful and creative co-worker.
Watch his short testimonial to learn what inspires his commitment to Brent's Place.
Double your impact before the clock runs out on our campaign match! https://www.classy.org/cam…/reunited-by-brents-place/c293586
"We are Protective. Our mission is in our name. We are going to tear down the barriers that block people from protecting their tomorrow so they can embrace today. This will change lives. This is our purpose. This will be our legacy."
Like our partners at Protective Life, safety is a top priority at Brent's Place and has become even more paramount these days.
A special thanks to Protective Life Insurance for honoring their values and walking hand-in-hand with Brent's Place through these challenging times. While the traditional sponsorship benefits could not be fulfilled due to the cancellation of our Brent's Place Block Party, the Protective Life gift is making a real impact in the lives of families living at Brent's Place. Thank you Protective Life!
The clock is ticking on our matching campaign. Make a gift TODAY, big or small, and it will be DOUBLED! Donate $10 and The Leaffer Family will make it $20, $100 instantly becomes $200. We are stronger together!
As soon as you walk through the doors at Brent's Place, you are part of the family. One of our former residents and forever family members, Dawn Hawkins, ReUNITED with us to share memories from her daughter Mara's 2012 stay.
Q. What was your favorite thing from your time at Brent's Place?
A. The people. Staff and the other people who were with us. One unique thing about Brent’s Place is that everybody is going through the hardest time in their lives. The connections you make are on a deeper level. You can count on your neighbor at 2am if the pump’s not working and you don’t know what to do. You can knock on that door and ask an odd question in the middle of the night. It’s more of a family atmosphere than at the hospital where you can feel so isolated.
Q. Share a fond memory of Brent's Place Block Party or Family Reunion.
A. We went to the very first family reunion across the street at a school playground. Mara was still at Brent’s Place at the time. She had a water gun fight with Sean. We’ve been coming back ever since. We have a good group that shows up every year. We’re so glad to have a chance to reconnect with others and catch up on changes – both the good and the bad from one year to the next. This group understands how good the good is, and how frustrating the bad can be.
Q. What one word comes to mind when you think of Brent's Place?
A. [Responded very emotionally] Safe. It was our safe place when Mara was sick. We’d been in isolation for two years, and it was truly a safe place when we couldn’t go home. Home was not considered safe. Brent’s Place was safe.
Providing a safe-clean home away from home is what we do. Families like Mara's is why we do it. Help us support more families in their time of need. https://bit.ly/reunitedbybp
Over the course of the last two weeks, you've heard from a few of the great people that make Brent's Place unique. There's no denying that our Family Services team delivers the secret sauce that makes our care of families second to none.
In today's video testimonial, Family Services Manager, Maggi Fitzpatrick, shares what inspires her work.
Only two days remain for the ReUNITED by Brent's Place campaign! Please help us unlock the campaign match before time runs out: https://bit.ly/reunitedbybp
If you've already made a gift, THANK YOU! Please tell a friend why you support Brent's Place. We are stronger together!
For every story that we’ve shared as part of the ReUNITED by Brent’s Place campaign, there are a hundred more that go untold. Last year alone, Brent’s Place sheltered and supported 293 families. These are more than stats. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, and grandparents who enter our doors carrying the heavy load of a life-threatening diagnosis. When they exit, we hope we have eased some of their burdens and helped them create happy memories during their medical journeys.
We’re singing “Reunited, and it feels so good,” with this next story!
The Dunbar family of Albuquerque, New Mexico, found their way to the Brent’s Place Marion Street location in 2006. Will and Kelly split shifts between the care of their 4-year-old daughter, Casey, and being bedside with their 5-month-old son, Sam. While Sam was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Presbyterian St. Luke’s, they recall their Brent’s Place apartment “quickly became our favorite location.”
“Sam was finally diagnosed with a life-threatening immune deficiency called NEMO. We were told the only chance of long-term survival was a bone marrow transplant,” said Kelly.
When the time finally came for Sam’s BMT, Brent’s Place was where the Dunbar family headed for comfort.
“On Thanksgiving morning in 2007, our family headed north to Denver, so Sam could receive his life-saving cells. Our family was welcomed back to Brent’s Place. Once again, we were able to stay in our favorite location, the basement apartment. We had beautiful Christmas lights strung throughout. While the winter weather was making itself known outside, we were comfy and cozy inside. Our extended family was able to come and help us care for Sam and give us much needed time with Casey. We became good friends with many of the other families, eating together on Christmas Eve, exchanging gifts, and watching movies together,” Kelly recalled
But it’s not just the low points that Brent’s Place supports in a family’s journey. The programs and resources available to families are designed to help in the healing process, build family resiliency, and create a sense of normalcy.
“At Brent’s Place, Casey lost her first tooth, celebrated her birthday, learned to ride a bike, and met many wonderful friends. At Brent’s Place, Will celebrated his birthday, the Giants as Super Bowl champs, and celebrated our anniversary. At Brent’s Place, Sam was able to recover and heal from bone marrow transplant safely. At Brent’s Place, we came “home” to already-made lunches and dinners after long clinic visits and family dinner nights. At Brent’s Place, we met the most amazing staff and volunteers. At Brent’s Place, we were able to make wonderful memories and come “home" together as a family. Thank you for allowing us to be part of the Brent’s Place family! Will, Kelly, Casey, Sam, Christian, and Madeline Dunbar”
Help ensure families like Sam's have a place to call home during their medical crisis and make happy memories as they heal.
BREAKING NEWS: from the ReUNITED by Brent's Place campaign
Loyal supporter and Board member, Joe Joe Chacko-Nair and her husband Balan Nair just pledged $10,000 to the campaign! On behalf of our families, past, current, and future, thank you so much for your heartfelt generosity. There is nothing more healing for our families – or our world – than extending your heart to others.
We're inching closer to our goal, but need your help to cross the finish line by tomorrow! Give what you can. Share your Brent's Place story. Invite a friend to join our community. We are stronger together!