Connor’s House was founded in memory of Connor Scott Millard, a spunky 8 year old boy with significant medical and developmental challenges, whose strong desire to live a normal life and experience the world around him caused all those involved in his care to push the envelope of current treatment to allow him to live at home as much as possible.
Arun Chopra, M.D.; Deborah Millard; and Scott Millard co-founded Connor’s House in 2009 after Connor’s passing based on the recognition that most families of children with life-shortening conditions do not have all the supports and resources the Millard’s did, and often become overwhelmed by the 24x7 care requirements of their children.
There are currently two million children in the U.S. who suffer from life-shortening illnesses, nearly 400,000 of which require round-the-clock care. More than 10,000 of these youngsters live in New Jersey alone. Many of these families face incredible personal, familial and job stresses – and often failures -- because there are few care and support services accessible outside of strict hospital or long-term settings.
Over the past three years Connor’s House has: provided parental support; advocacy training and resource referrals to more than 65 families; conducted educational presentations at hospitals from Philadelphia to Boston; and implemented a sibling support program and provided facilitator training to 15 other organizations. While providing these off-site services we have also completed our strategic plan and staffing/expense models, and are initiating a capital campaign to raise the funds to build the first Connor’s House facility in northern New Jersey to open in June 2016.
The Connor’s House facility will be a warm and inviting place where families can receive respite and symptom management support delivered in a friendly, home-like environment. Guests will stay and rest for short periods of time – generally two days to two weeks – and have the opportunity to interact with other families sharing similar experiences.
It will be a place to temporarily escape from daily routines and enjoy precious hours with other children, parents, brothers and sisters, and extended families. Such breaks also provide parents the space to attend to other siblings’ needs, go on a business trip, attend a family wedding or angage in other activities that are part of a complete life most of us take for granted.