Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

One Day to Remember Helps Pittsburghers Make Lasting Memories

Local nonprofit One Day to Remember makes bespoke memories for families with parents struggling with life-threatening illnesses.




photos by Joe Appel

 

For a young family, blocking off a full day for quality time can be a challenge. Between work, school, extra obligations for parents and kids alike, household tasks and more, sneaking in extended quality time can be tricky.

For parents facing a life-threatening illness, it can be near impossible.

Between stretched resources, medical needs and the limitations serious illness places on adults, the idea of a day spent making carefree memories couldn’t be farther from reality. The goal of nonprofit organization One Day to Remember is to offer families experiences that will, indeed, remain fixed in memory.

Since 2016, the organization has tailored outings for more than 15 families, first handling all of the logistics and covering the cost. Rachel Antin, One Day to Remember’s founder and executive director, previously worked as an oncology nurse at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

“I was dealing with a few families that were going through a diagnosis,” she says. “Some were leaving children behind. Some survived, but a lot didn’t.”

Antin says she wanted to provide additional resources for easing the psychological and emotional pain associated with the loss of a parent. She began researching the logistics of starting a nonprofit organization — and considering how best to help.

“The woman that really inspired me was a 39-year-old single mom with three girls,” she says. “We adopted them for Christmas one year ... I decided to organize a day for them.”

The first official One Day to Remember outing included a spa day, a meal at Pizza Taglio in East Liberty (complete with a pizza-making lesson) and a photoshoot in a nearby park.
 


Photo by Lauren Renee
 

“They were able to create this day together and create these wonderful memories to share,” Antin says.

Seeing the change in mother and children alike during and after that day provided the spark for One Day to Remember.

Since then, outings have featured behind-the-scenes tours of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, batting practice at PNC Park, on-field appearances at Highmark Stadium, trips to the National Aviary and Carnegie Science Center and much more — each catered to the preferences of the individual family.

“We’re trying to provide a bit of an upscale, VIP experience that they would not be able to do — that we can do in Pittsburgh,” Antin says. One Day to Remember has arranged for some regional road trips (families have had days in Cleveland and Baltimore), but the focus is on memorable and personal outings close to home.

After all, she says, “Pittsburgh has so much to offer,” which may well include experiences that are new to families.

“Even [local landmarks such as] the Science Center, we’ve taken families [there] that have never taken their kids to the Science Center,” Antin says. “I always ask the families if there’s anything they wanted to do but haven’t been able to do since their diagnosis.”

The benefits of providing a day off from doctors, hospitals and diagnoses go beyond the outing itself. For children, it’s a chance to see their parent away from the realities of potentially life-limiting illness; for parents, One Day to Remember provides a rare opportunity to see kids joyously experiencing new things. That can make a profound difference in the family’s outlook as the disease progresses, Antin says.

“I’ve watched families without this experience struggle when their family members pass away, and I’ve watched family members who have had this experience lose somebody — and deal with it in such a healthy way.
 


photo by Christina Montemurro
 

“I’m seeing these families after, and I’ve seen that they were able to just enjoy that day and know that everything’s going to be OK.”

Families can apply on the organization’s website, onedaytoremember.org. The only application requirements are that the application be made by (or on behalf of) a parent with a life-limiting or terminal illness; that at least one child in the family be under 18; and that the parent be currently under a doctor’s care.

Antin stresses that every outing the organization has provided has been moving. One stands out, however: a 28-year-old woman with an outing on her daughter’s third birthday.

The trip involved stops at Living Treasures Animal Park, BounceU trampoline park and family-fun center Fun Fore All. “I could tell that the mom — she had just stopped treatment, she was really struggling,” Antin says.

“But she did not stop smiling the entire day. Even though she was in a wheelchair and was having difficulty walking, speaking and seeing, she got on a camel at Living Treasures and rode around. She fed every single animal ... She did bumper cars at Fun Fore All.

“Watching somebody who really wasn’t doing well enjoy every single moment was amazing to me.”  

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

The Summer Movies in the Park Are Awesome This Year

The City of Pittsburgh's annual Cinema in the Park series returns with another summer of free outdoor movies for all.

7 Storylines Which Will Define and Determine Steelers' Season

An unfamiliar underdog status may help the Steelers get back to the playoffs and beyond.

Can't Miss Concerts in Pittsburgh in June

This month's lineup includes Ariana Grande, Hiss Golden Messenger and a full slate at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

June 2019: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

Joe Morrison Takes the Director's Chair at Pittsburgh Filmmakers

After years of uncertainty, the cinemas of Pittsburgh Filmmakers now have a leader with experience building and engaging audiences.

Unlock Special View of Pittsburgh for a Limited Time

Attention all boaters! The locks on the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers will open most summer weekends, allowing you to visit sights you couldn’t get to before.

Get To Liberty Magic to See the Excellent Billy Kidd

The British magician's new show, "Bridging the Gap," brings theatricality and surprising performance to the parlour-magic stage.

The 400-Word Review: The Perfection

Netflix's troubling new thriller stars Allison Williams and Logan Browning.

Undercover: What We're Reading in June

Reviews of “I”: New and Selected Poems by Toi Derricotte and Regular Hauntings: New and Previous Poems by Gerald Costanzo.

What Are You Doing to be Like Mister Rogers on 1-4-3 Day?

Pennsylvania names May 23 as 1-4-3 Day to celebrate its favorite neighbor.

The 400-Word Review: Aladdin

Disney's live-action remake of the '90s hit stars Will Smith as the iconic Genie.

Sharing Knives Grows into Sharing Farms

For its third season, the collaborative dinner series at Ace Hotel will celebrate the region’s growers.

A Slice of Pizza Kept Sean McDowell Going in the Early Days

After 41 years in the business, the legendary rock DJ on WDVE has announced his retirement.

This New App Will Help You Track Upcoming Cicada Swarm

Follow Brood VIII, which is expected to have three species of periodical cicadas emerging from the soil as early as this month, on the Cicada Safari App.

Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh in 2019

Our annual roundup of Pittsburgh's Best Restaurants covers a lot of ground. The list of 30 includes everything from fine dining at a resort hotel to a scrappy, farm-to-table breakfast and lunch counter in Bloomfield.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


The Summer Movies in the Park Are Awesome This Year

The Summer Movies in the Park Are Awesome This Year

The City of Pittsburgh's annual Cinema in the Park series returns with another summer of free outdoor movies for all.

Comments

Unlock Special View of Pittsburgh for a Limited Time

Unlock Special View of Pittsburgh for a Limited Time

Attention all boaters! The locks on the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers will open most summer weekends, allowing you to visit sights you couldn’t get to before.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Sharing Knives Grows into Sharing Farms

Sharing Knives Grows into Sharing Farms

For its third season, the collaborative dinner series at Ace Hotel will celebrate the region’s growers.

Comments

A Look at the Latest Restaurant Openings in Pittsburgh

A Look at the Latest Restaurant Openings in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh says hello (again) to Dish Osteria, Cinderlands Warehouse, Pizzeria Davide and more.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

For those who can’t stand the idea of leaving their dogs home alone on a beautiful day, these dog-friendly stores, restaurants and bars in the Pittsburgh area welcome humans and canines alike.

Comments

5 Races You (Yes, You) Can Run This Year

5 Races You (Yes, You) Can Run This Year

Even novice runners can work their way up to these fun and (mildly) challenging races.

Comments


Get To Liberty Magic to See the Excellent Billy Kidd

Get To Liberty Magic to See the Excellent Billy Kidd

The British magician's new show, "Bridging the Gap," brings theatricality and surprising performance to the parlour-magic stage.

Comments

The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls is a Treasure

The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls is a Treasure

The small, second venue above the Millvale hall is one of the city's best rooms for live music.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
7 Storylines Which Will Define and Determine Steelers' Season

7 Storylines Which Will Define and Determine Steelers' Season

An unfamiliar underdog status may help the Steelers get back to the playoffs and beyond.

Comments

Pirates’ First Quarter Record Defies Logic if Not Description

Pirates’ First Quarter Record Defies Logic if Not Description

The 21-19 record the Bucs took to San Diego doesn’t add up given all they’ve had to overcome. Perhaps there’s more to this team than meets the eye.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: The Perfection

The 400-Word Review: The Perfection

Netflix's troubling new thriller stars Allison Williams and Logan Browning.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Aladdin

The 400-Word Review: Aladdin

Disney's live-action remake of the '90s hit stars Will Smith as the iconic Genie.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
This Wedding Had a Guest List Unlike Any Other

This Wedding Had a Guest List Unlike Any Other

Brendan Renne and Thais Canedo wanted a penguin at their wedding. They ended up with a menagerie.

Comments

You’ll #ShalieveInLove After Seeing Ryan Shazier's Wedding Photos

You’ll #ShalieveInLove After Seeing Ryan Shazier's Wedding Photos

Pittsburgh Steeler Ryan Shazier danced at his wedding Friday 18 months after a serious spinal injury.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
New Tour Gives Insider Look at Pittsburgh’s Ethnic Neighborhoods

New Tour Gives Insider Look at Pittsburgh’s Ethnic Neighborhoods

With stops in Bloomfield and Polish Hill, the event from DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh celebrates the contributions immigrants made when they settled here more than a century ago.

Comments

Three North Side Garden Tours (And One on the South Side) You'll Want to Explore

Three North Side Garden Tours (And One on the South Side) You'll Want to Explore

Here’s your chance to explore some the city’s most beautiful historic (and new) homes and outdoor spaces.

Comments