The Eckman Family


Adele was just shy of turning two years old when she caught a respiratory virus, RSV, that hospitalized her with life-threatening seizures. Her parents, Lani and Eric, were no strangers to the hospital, as Adele was born in 2009 with a neuromuscular condition that required regular medical attention.

For over a week, Lani and Eric spent countless hours sitting and sleeping on hard hospital chairs. Their four year old son, Bjorn, spent days by their side, not getting the rest, play, or interaction with other children that he needed.

Lani and Eric were in desperate need of support when one of the hospital staff recommended they visit JW House for some rest and a bite to eat, or as Lani says “a place where you can decompress.” Not knowing what they would encounter at JW House, they rang the doorbell and were instantly greeted by friendly volunteers and staff that had prepared the first home-cooked meal they had eaten in weeks. At JW House, Bjorn was able to play with other children, without Lani and Eric having to worry about his safety.

Most importantly to Lani, she found a stress-free place where she could sit down and express herself openly with other families facing similar situations.

It has been six years since the Eckman’s first visit to JW House. Throughout these years, they have come for meals, snacks, play, and decompression during hospital stays and in-between appointments with Adele, Bjorn, and their son Kasen, who was born in 2013.

In January 2017, after six years of fighting, Adele passed away. And in April, at an emotional and heartbreaking time for the Eckman family, Lani gave birth to her youngest son, Elias, premature at 33 weeks. While Elias himself has been in and out of the hospital facing medical challenges, including moderate hearing loss, the Eckman family has continued to visit JW House.

The Eckman family has truly become part of the JW House Family. For the Eckman family, as well as many other families, JW House is a “home away from home.” And in December 2017, Adele celebrated her final holidays with her family at JW House.