The Believe In Tomorrow respite housing program is the first and only program in the United States to provide respite housing facilities to critically ill children and their families with the belief that it will help speed the healing process. Located in top destination spots, including beach and mountain respites, families can get away from the daily stress of the hospitals and treatments in order to relax, reconnect and restore their spirits together.
Believe In Tomorrow House By The Sea
Believe In Tomorrow House on Fenwick Island
Believe In Tomorrow House on the Bay
Believe In Tomorrow House on Wisp Mountain
Believe In Tomorrow House at Pinnacle Falls
"Thank you very much for the wonderful family vacation. We can’t remember the last time that we heard Brianna laugh so much with pure joy and excitement."
Respite Housing Updates:
Scroll down to read the latest happenings at the Believe In Tomorrow Respite Houses.
All Believe In Tomorrow children, in treatment or not, leave the beach feeling like they are someone special. Matisse Reid, 9, bid goodbye to Ocean City with evidence that she was someone special: a disc jockey on a popular Eastern Shore morning radio show.
“She’s a performer. She loves singing, dancing, musical instruments,” says Jodee Reid, Matisse’s mother.
Thanks to David “Bulldog” Rothner of the “Rude Awaking Show” on WOZM Ocean 98, Matisse could showcase her performing skills during the latter end of her June stay at the Believe In Tomorrow House By The Sea. Years of illness forced Matisse to quit her ballet classes in New Zealand, where the Reid’s are originally from. The new partnership allowed Reid a creative outlet, while her brothers and sister found activities at the beach to fit their interests.
“I’ve always been really impressed with Believe In Tomorrow,” says Rothner, who first made his name as a disc jockey in the Caribbean Islands. “I wanted to do something more for it.”
Rothner did more than something; he opened his studio this summer to Believe In Tomorrow familys for a behind-the-scenes-tour, on-air opportunity and editing session. With each visit, Rothner outfits the patient in headphones, scoots him/her up to the mike, and steps back to let WOZM’s newest radio host record a ten minute on air set.
“With a name like ‘Bulldog’ you sort of think, ‘Oh, what’s he like?’” says Jodee. “But he is very good with the kids.”
A team of five men host the families at the station. When Matisse received the go-ahead to record, Bulldog fed her lines and she made up her own banter about happenings on the Ocean City boardwalk that day. Later she introduced a song from her favorite band: the Jonas Brothers.
Rothner then edits the CD with professional equipment and presents the families with a gift to take home.
Jodee says, “We listened to it all the way home. And then her brother started complaining.”
Luckily, Matisse’s brothers and sisters could participate in activities tailored to them. Jodee says the older children enjoyed surfing lessons at Malibu Surf Shop and fishing while her younger son played nicely with a child from another Believe In Tomorrow family.
“It was nice for the other kids, whose lives are on hold waiting [for their siblings to get well]. It was nice to just have something for them.”
The Reids put their lives on hold two and a half years ago when they moved to the states to wait for an organ to become available for Matisse. The Reid’s are still awaiting a transplant.
“Just before we went to the beach, we had three false alarm calls,” says Reid of calls indicating the hospital found an organ for Matisse. “We were feeling the pressure… we came back [from the beach] feeling refreshed and renewed and able to enjoy the rest of the summer.”
Matisse continues to play the CD for all of her friends as a memory of her beach getaway. And hopefully, each time she listens, she does the one thing Rothner wanted to accomplish with this project.“I hope to just put a smile on their faces,” he says. “Nothing more.”
Summer Whispers at Wisp
A fresh, woody aroma and striking green leaves characterize the summer season at Wisp Resort, where the Believe In Tomorrow House on Wisp Mountain sits facing an all-encompassing panorama of Deep Creek lake in McHenry, Md. The house is booked through the summer with families needing to go on respite from the rigors and routine of medical treatments. At the resort, new and continuing activities offer these families a relaxing environment to have fun and reconnect.
Wondering what our families are up to this summer at Wisp?
- Expert Orvis guides can show parents and children where – and how – to fly fish.
- The end of ski season means mountain bikers can try their tires on over 15 miles of beginner friendly to expert downhill trails.
- Wisp will rent families and children a variety of kayaks for a flat-water tour of Deep Creek Lake. Pontoon tours are available too.
- The mountain coaster still zips families through the trees and down the mountain at breathless speeds. The chairlift becomes a scenic ride for those looking for a birds-eye view of the mountain.
- Off –road mountain buggy tours and Segways (with special terrain wheels) give families the chance to explore all parts of the mountain.
Hop for Hope Fundraiser
Children came out in full force for the annual Hop for Hope Fundraiser at Coca's Funhouse. The event was sponsored by Laura Deely, and with a $10 admission fee for unlimited play, raised over $1,100.
Top Cookout Chef
Every summer, as the three coastal Believe In Tomorrow respite houses fill with laughter and excitement in Ocean City, Md., and Fenwick Island, Del. the weekly Believe In Tomorrow cookouts – inviting all the families staying at the Believe In Tomorrow House on the Bay, By The Sea, and on Fenwick Island – commence on the upper deck of the Believe In Tomorrow House By The Sea.
This year, Believe In Tomorrow staff and volunteers will give summer beach respite families a chance to wield chef’s hat and spatula.
We know our Believe In Tomorrow families are grill masters. We also know families experiencing a life-threatening illness might appreciate the opportunity to connect with others. That’s why we’ve structured this year’s cookouts to foster greater group support and let parents and families show off their stuff.
At a Believe In Tomorrow Walter Reed pediatric cancer group respite trip (a special event for our Military Initiative) last October, four families had a chance to connect during an afternoon of grilling and relaxation. As the afternoon wore on, and families blended cocktail sauce for the grilled shrimp, turned sizzling steaks, shucked corn and baked brownies, a special camaraderie began to develop. Husbands chatted, kids played at the house’s child-friendly tiki bar, and teenagers who bonded at the event headed over to the go-cart course after.
One afternoon of team cooking transformed into an evening of new friends and conversation – an evening of normalcy – the Walter Reed families aren’t soon to forget.
All cookouts this summer will be modeled after that day in October, with great food, as an extra service to families visiting our beach respites.
Practice those cooking skills and we’ll see you there!
A Valentine’s Beach Weekend
For many, Valentine’s Day is all about showering a significant other with gifts. But for Believe In Tomorrow families, the month of love can serve as an opportunity to use the long weekend for spending time with each other.
Even though the waves in Ocean City have turned gray and blustery and temperatures sometimes don’t reach 40 degrees, the fresh, salty air at the beach might be a part of the perfect respite trip this Valentine’s Day weekend, beginning Friday, Feb. 13.
There’s still ample space open to take the long weekend (Monday, February 16 is President’s Day,) and spend Valentine’s Day with the ones you love in Ocean City. What you’ll also love: The 26th Annual Boat Show scheduled for that weekend, with over 350 boats on display at the Ocean City Convention Center. Families can explore anything from sport cruisers, to sportfish, to performance boats. Several area restaurants also have specials that come with the winter weather and leave with the warmth. For Ocean City restaurant deals, click here.
Go ahead. Fall in love with winter at the beach.
Spend Winter at the Beach
Tempted by a calm winter respite trip to the beach? Read the Sones’ family advice below to find out exactly how to enjoy the beach from now until Spring.
Our family enjoyed the beach facility in the month of March. The weather was cold and blustery, but the environment was warm and friendly.
Our first stop was the kite shop on the boardwalk to Henlopen State Park’s Annual Kite Festival with hundreds of people flying kites, listening to music and eating funnel cakes.The outlet malls were open, welcoming customers with sales galore and front row parking spots.
The weekend before we departed, the arcade on the boardwalk opened and my kids had the time of their lives. They had never been in a real arcade and we met friendly families who cheered us on in Whack-a-Mole.
There was plenty to eat: Grotto’s pizza has a few locations open in Delaware as well as Outback Steakhouse, and the ceaselessly amazing Dolle’s candy shop.
We spent time watching wetsuit-clad surfers off the coast of Bethany Beach catch waves one stormy day. There are plenty of DVDs to watch in the evenings, just pop some popcorn and make some hot chocolate.
The horses never seem to hide on Assateague Island. We saw many beautiful wild horses that day and watched a storm pound the Eastern Coast.
Don’t forget your hat, gloves, a sense of adventure and the marshmallows. Have fun!