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Blog - Ryan House

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Treasuring Memories in the Midst of Life’s Darkest Moments

When you play at Gila River Hotels & Casinos, you play for good. Did you know that under the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming compacts, 12% of the tribe’s contribution to the state has been invested back into Arizona to improve education, healthcare, conservation and public safety throughout the state? To show you how these tribal gaming revenues directly impact organizations, we are celebrating our partnership with Ryan House.

Care at Ryan House

Ryan House provides world-class pediatric support and care, including respite care, palliative care, life-enhancing therapeutic activities, end-of-life care, and bereavement care to families. This wonderful nonprofit provides a welcoming, home-like environment where families navigate life-limiting or end-of-life journeys. They provide relief of the symptoms, pain and stress associated with any serious illness at no cost.

The 12,500-square-foot home is equipped with accessible facilities that provide an escape from the realities these families are facing including:

• Memorial Garden that offers a peaceful area for families to reflect, relax, meditate or pray

• Creative U – an arts and crafts room for visitors of all ages to express themselves creatively

• Do’ Re’ Mi’ Music Room used for music therapy

• Story of Me Multimedia Room that allows Ryan House children to capture special memories and promote healthy communication with their family

• Eight themed bedrooms for children and teens, three family suites and handicap accessible bathrooms

• Non-denominational sanctuary offering a quiet and peaceful space for reflection and intimate discussions with the Care Team and Spiritual Advisors

Enhancing End-Of-Life Care

Ryan House is instrumental in supporting families through their child’s end-of-life journey and the grant from Gila River helped enhance these efforts, providing care and support as families face some of their most difficult decisions.

Part of end-of-life care includes the Treasured Memories bereavement box that celebrates the life and love of a child. Most often the box contains fingerprints, hand molds and other keepsakes for families to remember their child by. End-of-life care also includes grief support as families navigate life after their child has passed.

Support from Gila River provides a breath, a short rest and the courage to move forward. Because of Ryan House, families can focus on being a family and live life to the fullest.

Ryan House’s Strong Foundation

When Holly and Jonathan Cottor’s youngest son, Ryan, was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, they were told to take Ryan home and enjoy the time that they had with him. Feeling devastated, shocked and anxious about what lied ahead, there were many hard decisions the family had to make.

The family lived in London at the time and were referred by Ryan’s physical therapist to Helen House in Oxford, where they could take Ryan, as a family or on his own, for short breaks called respite care. The family scheduled their first visit and quickly learned that pediatric palliative care homes offer a lifeline of support to both children and the families caring for them. The care provided at Helen House was so special to the Cottor family that upon moving to Arizona, they hoped to find an establishment that replicated such a positive experience.

When the Cottors found nothing like Helen House in Arizona, they decided to make one of their own. Ryan House officially opened its doors in 2010 and is one of only three care facilities of its kind in the country. Ryan House offers hope, courage, love, care and friendship to children and families navigating unimaginable journeys.

Gila River is proud to support such an impactful organization and thanks its guests for helping contribute to this worthy nonprofit organization.


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