Rach's Hope is a new non-profit organization based in Westport, CT honoring Rachel Hope Doran who passed away suddenly at the age of 21. It was established to assist families with children battling critical illnesses by providing them with practical, emotional and financial supports to help them navigate their families’ needs.
Rachel, a 2015 Staples High School graduate and rising senior at Cornell University, was well known in her communities as a trusted friend, promising scholar and talented fashion designer and cook. Her love and passion were far reaching and profound. Rachel was a Fashion Design Major with a Minor in Business at Cornell and was interning in New York City over the summer of 2018 when Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome (TENS), rare reactions to common medications, struck her without warning. She passed away on August 17th, 2018 after a 35-day battle with the diseases.
As a part of the Doran’s healing process they created a non-profit to honor Rachel’s life and carry on her memory, while also helping others. According to Alan and Lisa Doran, “As a family, we have been through so much heartache, and the trauma of losing a child is unbearable. One of our biggest obstacles when Rachel was sick was to advocate for Rachel’s care and also find time to care for ourselves and our other daughter, Ellie. The support we received from family and friends during and after Rachel’s illness was instrumental in helping us keep our bearings and remain present for Rachel. Not everyone has the resources that we did, no one should go through the illness of a child alone. Rach’s Hope strives to be that support for families that need it.”
Rach’s Hope aims to address the challenges families face during and after a child’s critical illness requiring an extended stay in Intensive Care. The fund will provide families with emotional and financial support and resources, to help them navigate the immediate and ongoing complexities involved with severe illnesses which require prolonged hospital stays. From the logistics of hospital and hotel stays, to managing bills, to providing counseling services, Rach’s Hope will help families weather the storm their situations have created, so that they can strive to move forward and find a new normal.