A $1 million gift for Ava’s House

Ava’s House by Sanford will be a peaceful setting for families to be together, to say the words that haven’t been said, heal hurts, love and laugh. It will be a place to live life to its fullest until the last breath.

Todd and Linda Broin understand the vital need for a hospice facility like Ava’s House in Sioux Falls. Inspired by the stories of many caregivers and patients, they are helping make Ava’s House a reality with a $1 million pledge to the Gift of Time campaign.

“It’s another part of God’s fullness of life, not to be ignored,” Linda said. “To face an end-of-life situation, we could only imagine the thoughts going through their minds and the feelings in their hearts.”

The 20-suite, in-patient acute-level hospice facility with 24-hour nursing care will open for patients of all ages in fall 2017. The homelike facility will be one of just four in the country to include dedicated in-patient hospice care for children.

“It’s great to be a part of something that will be around for generations to come and serve the community in such a profound and important way,” Todd said.

As parents to three children, Todd and Linda were especially inspired by the story of young Ava Holder. At just 18 months old, Ava was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer.

Toward the end of Ava’s journey, her family brought her to a pediatric hospice facility near their home in Arizona. The staff at the in-patient child-focused hospice facility embraced the 4-year-old and her family during her final days.

Ava’s bright and courageous spirit inspired her great uncle and aunt, Ron and Joanne Moquist, to make a significant lead gift toward the Gift of Time campaign. The Moquists wanted to bring child-focused hospice care to Sioux Falls.

“I know it’s hard to share a personal story like that, especially one of loss,” Linda said. “I thought, ‘how brave of the Moquist family to share their story and what a tough topic to address.’ We definitely wanted to be a part of that.”

Todd and Linda have been friends of the Sanford Health Foundation for many years, championing causes close to their hearts, including care for children and The Sanford Project’s mission to cure type 1 diabetes.

In 2008, the Broins made a $10 million commitment to fund the Todd and Linda Broin Chair of the Sanford Project. Linda was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12 and has dealt with constant management of the disease for more than 30 years.

“It was so exciting to hear that somebody had a plan,” Linda recalled. “You have hope for so many years for a cure, but it never happened. To have a team right in our own backyard to tackle that was a miracle to us.”

“It’s nice to be involved with an organization that’s on the cutting edge and growing and expanding throughout the world,” Todd added. “It’s really exciting to watch Sanford grow into a world-class facility and bring healing to the world.”

When Todd and Linda take their kids to Sanford Children’s Castle of Care for checkups, they also see unmatched compassion and dedication to patient care.

“Sanford is so good at addressing the needs of our community,” Linda said. “We’re very lucky to have Sanford here.

As the only hospice facility to accommodate patients of all ages, the Broins see Ava’s House as one of those critical needs of the community.

“It’s so sad to know why people will go to Ava’s House,” Linda said. “Your heart goes out to them that they are going through a sad emotional time, maybe after a very long journey. But if you are helping them in some little way, that’s pretty special.”

Join Todd and Linda in their support for Ava’s House. Your gift will significantly enhance hospice services available in our community today.

Learn more about Ava’s House or to make a gift, please visit our website.

Posted In Children's, Health Information, Hospice