Give Today to Provide Unforgettable Summers To Our Kids

We’re Alissa, Madi & Destiny and we want to share one of our favorite pastimes with you.

As often as we can, the three of us get together for a slumber party. We gossip about pop news. We take trips down memory lane, because we’ve all known each other since we were little. We come up with spontaneous activities to fill our time, like baking in the kitchen or researching fun DIY crafts online. We stay up way too late, sleep in, then wake up and make our famous stuffed French toast.

Our slumber parties are just like every other teenagers’, except for two major differences. First, we all have spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disease that robs us of our physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in our spinal cords, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe on our own. Having this disease in common created a bond among the three of us that is special and unique. The second is that our slumber parties aren’t held at one another’s homes, they’re held at Ryan House.

When we are at Ryan House, we’re able to bond, relax and hang out as normal teenagers in a way that we can’t anywhere else. We look forward to our Ryan House slumber parties and plan them when we can be together – often in the summer, during long holiday weekends or around Spring Break.

When we arrive and get to see each other – sometimes, it’s been several months! That’s when the real fun and relaxation begins. Every visit is different, we let the days unfold and choose how to spend our time based on what we feel like doing in that moment or whatever idea pops into our head.

Once, the three of us hosted a taco party for all of the other Ryan House kids, families, staff and volunteers in the house. Another time, we decided everyone needed a parade. So, we dressed up, invited everyone to gather in the halls and turned on music so everyone could dance and enjoy.

We’ve also had many cooking adventures at Ryan House. Have you ever had cottage cheese pancakes? Don’t knock them until you’ve tried them. They sound weird, but they’re the best breakfast you’ll ever have. We’ve also made fruit pizzas, brownies, cookies and other goodies.

When we’re feeling glamorous and just want to relax, we have a spa day. Ryan House volunteers help us paint our nails and give us facials. When we feel like chilling, we have a movie night and binge on our favorite comedies, classics and Marvel movies. We love doing art projects and enjoy activities like painting and creating all kinds of things.

We all affectionately compete for the best room in the house, Room 5, because of the magical feeling we get when we’re in there. The walls are filled with a unicorn, a dragon, and a castle, and it’s no secret that it’s each of our favorite.

Ryan House makes it possible for us to all get together, strengthen our friendship and feel like three carefree teenagers. We know all of our experiences would not be possible without Ryan House. Each of us feels safe and supported there because the care team can help us with any need we have or any wishes we dream up.

And one of the great things about being at Ryan House is knowing we’re giving our families the opportunity to take a break and enjoy the things they like to do that are difficult when they are taking care of us. We get to have a little freedom at Ryan House, and they get to do their own thing too!

At the end of each of our slumber parties, and we say goodbye, we leave feeling incredibly grateful and filled with joy because of the time we spent together making more memories. We cherish these opportunities more than words can express!

Please consider supporting Ryan House so we can continue to experience the joy and independence of being average teenagers and make even more memories that will stay with us forever. Know that your contributions truly make a huge difference in our lives and the lives of every other child and teenager who stays there too.


Alissa, Madi & Destiny

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For more information, please contact Pepper Kincaid-Sizer at or at (602) 200-0767.