Meet the Van Tuyle Family!
Meet the Van Tuyle Family!
by Susan Kricun
We are the Van Tuyles – a family of six. The most extraordinary thing Ryan House gives our family is the opportunity to connect with one another in our own unique way.
We often lovingly refer to our family as the United Nations because together, we represent different backgrounds, cultures, and medical conditions. While we didn’t plan it that way, our journey to becoming a family began when our oldest daughter Jessica, who is now 16, was born.
Jessica and her twin brother were born at 23 weeks and five days as micro-preemies. Her brother survived for only 21 days solely leaving Jessica in our loving care. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a condition that has prevented her from being able to see and speak and requires constant medical care and medical equipment wherever she goes.
When you have a child like Jessica, who is medically complex, nothing about life feels normal. When she was young, we took her everywhere with us, but as she’s gotten older, her medical needs became too complicated for her to travel.
It wasn’t until she was six years old that we heard about Ryan House. It was difficult for us to leave her for her first stay, but Ryan House exceeded our expectations during her initial visit, and they have ever since.
Ryan House has made it possible for us to do things like attending our niece’s upcoming wedding, an important family event. And when Jessica visits Ryan House her needs are being met and we can travel to visit extended family or take a short vacation, so our needs are being met too. We get as close to a normal life as possible.
Over the years, we’ve gradually become more and more comfortable leaving town while Jessica is enjoying a respite stay at Ryan House. No matter what time zone we’re in, or what worry we have, we can call Ryan House at any time for a thorough update on how she is doing. That really gives us peace of mind.
Jessica loves being social and engaging with people and especially loves the 24/7 attention she gets from the nurses, staff, volunteers, and other children at Ryan House. Even though she can’t speak, she shows us in so many ways that her time at Ryan House is special and much like her own spa vacation. In fact, it’s not unusual for her to come home from a stay with braided hair and painted nails!
Through the years, our family has expanded with Joshua, 12, Mikala, 10, and a 3-year-old girl we are fostering. Ryan House has become a second home for all of us. All our children look forward to Ryan House’s events, a time when we can bond as a family. It’s a safe and comforting space for everyone. You should see how
our kids play with the toys and bounce from room to room.
We believe so much in Ryan House that we always designate our Arizona Tax Credit to them. And we’re hoping you’ll do the same.
You see – when you designate your Arizona Tax Credit to Ryan House, you’re not just helping the children who enjoy all that Ryan House has to offer, you’re also helping immediate families, like ours, get that much-needed break from demanding, round-the-clock care. And you allow them to nurture the other relationships in their lives. Having a place like Ryan House is simply life-changing for families like ours.
Thank you for considering donating your Arizona Tax Credit to Ryan House. Your donation supports families like ours who desperately need the help. Your act of generosity has a ripple effect that extends far beyond the children, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
David & Klo Van Tuyle