"Aarolyns House of Hope's Mission is to provide comfort, compassion and companionship specifically for transplant recipients and their caregivers in a dedicated house. Private bedrooms and bathrooms, along with a common kitchen and family room, will be available at a reasonable cost near Detroit area hospitals for those living greater than 30miles away."
- Aarolyn McCullough
30 Years Ago
Aarolyn was diagnosed with primary biliary cirrhosis. Her gastroenterologist informed her that she had a slow, progressive disease. He mentioned 'liver transplant' but it seemed so far off and foreign that it was easy to deny. However, reality set in as time marched on - Aarolyn's body increasingly reminded her that her organ was failing to sustain her.
Fast Forward to April 6, 2011
It was time! Aarolyn's body couldn't live any longer without a new organ. She received a 'Gift of Life' from a donor whose family made a life saving decision, providing Aarolyn with a liver from their loved one. It took a year to heal and learn how to live a new lifestyle with much caregiving required by her family. Aarolyn was so moved by this miraculous event that she vowed to pay it forward as soon as she healed.
Paying It Forward
In 2012, Aarolyn became a volunteer transplant ambassador, teaching transplant candidates, recipients and caregivers about lifestyle changes that need to be followed. She offers support and understanding, and Aarolyn listens. Subsequently, she hears stories of lodging difficulties, problems maneuvering in and around Detroit, and tales of the overall stress of the transplant process.
As Aarolyn immersed herself in the world of transplant, she learned of dedicated transplant houses around the country. She visited the Mason House, in Atlanta, to learn about its inception and operation. As a result her idea was born – she would start a 'transplant house' in the Detroit area. Gathering information, by talking with directors and founders of transplant houses throughout the country, has been key to the development of her vision.