Nora's Home News

Nearly 16 years ago, a tragic accident ended the life of seven-year-old Nora. Although she had a short life, her gift of compassion was evident every day, and she left a legacy impossible to forget.

Nora’s giving heart defined the little girl. If she could help someone in need, she would, even if it meant giving away her vacation money. She’d ask her parents to help the homeless on the streets, and where she saw a need she longed to help.

“Every night before she went to sleep, she’d ask if everyone had something to eat and a place to stay,” Nora’s father, Dr. Osama Gaber, transplant surgeon and director of the Methodist Hospital’s transplant center, said. “Her heart was always concerned about others first.”

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Lehmann currently serves as executive director of the Nora's Gift Foundation, a local nonprofit organization founded by Doctors Osama and Lillian Gaber in memory of their daughter, Nora. Later this year, the foundation will open a 12,000-square-foot housing facility, called Nora's Home, which will provide affordable lodging for Texas Medical Center transplant patients.

"I had a transplant two and a half years ago," Lehmann said. "I didn't live far from the Med Center, but I witnessed so many of the patients that had driven in and didn't have the financial resources. The need is there."

Through her work with the Nora's Gift Foundation and Nora's Home, Lehmann hopes to raise awareness of the issues facing transplant patients, as well as the need for a donor registry.

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By Nora's Home Executive Director Kayla Lehmann

I'm able to write this only because someone made the decision to save a life.

And that life happened to be mine.

Had it not been for my kidney transplant in 2010, I couldn't count myself among the growing number of Houstonians determined to combat America's severe organ and tissue shortage by making a commitment to donate organs such as their heart, lungs, kidneys and liver and save as many as seven or eight lives in the process.

More than 115,000 U.S. residents are awaiting a life-saving transplant today, enough people to fill Reliant Stadium and Minute Maid Park combined. And every 10 minutes, another name is added to the list. Tragically, though, nearly 6,600 people died last year while awaiting a transplant -that's 18 people a day- according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.

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Nora’s Home, which will offer transplant patients and their families an affordable place to stay while undergoing treatment before, during and after transplant, broke ground today on its 12,000 square foot facility located near Reliant Stadium.

The first of its kind in Houston and the Gulf Coast region, Nora’s Home will offer transplant patients and their families support, education and an inexpensive place to stay where they can share experiences with others in the comfort of a home environment.  Nora’s Home will be a new, freestanding facility near the Texas Medical Center featuring 16 private bedrooms and baths, a fully equipped kitchen, a great room, a chapel/meditation room, a community room, an education center and free shuttle services to the Texas Medical Center.

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