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 400-Word Review: The Lion King

Despite a great voice cast, the new version of "The Lion King" was a bad idea from the start.

Why These 6 Days in 1969 Were So Important to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, but we're not the only ones. We take a look at six notable events from 1969.

Women in Power: The Pros Changing Allegheny County

Allegheny County breaks the old boys’ club by placing women in key positions.

Growing Together: Farmers and Chefs Elevate Pittsburgh Dining

These seven farmer/chef pairings are leading the charge toward more vital vegetable dishes.

Afraid to Go to the Dentist? Consider the Sedation Solution

For some patients, dental work wouldn’t be possible if they were fully alert.

Restaurant Review: Spirits & Tales at the Oaklander Hotel

Executive chef Jessica Lewis’ strong voice is undermined by inconsistencies throughout the restaurant.

Perspectives: A Big Life

A former newspaper reporter's assignment leads to a lifelong friendship with a man who battled a food addiction.

Our 50 Years: Why This Movie Landed on Our Cover

Hollywood could be found on the Mon, quite literally, in 1993 — leading to some fawning coverage of the mostly forgotten (but very, very Pittsburgh-centric) action flick “Striking Distance.”

George S. Kaufman’s Sensational Scandal

The Pittsburgh-born playwright made tabloid headlines in the 1930s. (it didn’t slow him down a bit.)

You Can Ride a Roller Coaster Classic

Roller coaster history is hidden nearby — and not where you might think.

Tea, Cake and Death: A Safe Place to Discuss a Scary Subject

“Death Cafes” seek to reduce taboos around the act of dying.

How He Makes the Mundane Sound Magical

Experimental sound artist R. Weis creates otherworldly sonic compositions from everyday materials.

Uber’s New Service Puts Riders in the Driver’s Seat

Passengers in Pittsburgh now can pay for a most customized experience with Uber Comfort.

The 400-Word Review: Secret Obsession

Netflix is on a bit of a hot streak with its original thrillers. Unfortunately, this dud isn't part of it.

After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

The beloved bar-and-restaurant chain has become a Pittsburgh emblem. It's the 10th inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Uber’s New Service Puts Riders in the Driver’s Seat

Uber’s New Service Puts Riders in the Driver’s Seat

Passengers in Pittsburgh now can pay for a most customized experience with Uber Comfort.

Comments

Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy hopes to restore the city’s parks to their former glory, but they may need a tax increase to do so.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings in Pittsburgh

The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings in Pittsburgh

We say hello to a new concept from Justin Severino, a summer-long dance pop-up and a new spot for cocktails.

Comments

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 4 Recent Dishes I Loved

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 4 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM Dining Critic Hal B. Klein says a corned beef sandwich, Sichuan smashed eggplants, smoked chicken wings and a cornbread dessert have his attention.

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


After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

The beloved bar-and-restaurant chain has become a Pittsburgh emblem. It's the 10th inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

Comments

The Park After Dark

The Park After Dark

Kennywood’s “Night Rider” tickets may be the best bet for many visitors.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates’ Possibilities Include Contention in Surprising Season’s Second Half

Pirates’ Possibilities Include Contention in Surprising Season’s Second Half

It hasn’t gone according to the original script, but the Pirates have found a way to stay relevant — and may yet be capable of finishing what they started.

Comments

Pens’ Conundrum: The Coach and the Culture

Pens’ Conundrum: The Coach and the Culture

Try as he might, General Manager Jim Rutherford has so far been unable to change the makeup of his team as intended. It may, thus, ultimately fall on head coach Mike Sullivan to adjust the attitudes of players with a recent track record of resisting change for the greater good.

Comments


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

The 400-Word Review: The Lion King

Despite a great voice cast, the new version of "The Lion King" was a bad idea from the start.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Secret Obsession

The 400-Word Review: Secret Obsession

Netflix is on a bit of a hot streak with its original thrillers. Unfortunately, this dud isn't part of it.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

For many couples, family and tradition means everything. Having a band that helps reflect those can be a great way to pay tribute to your heritage, while getting your guests on the dance floor.

Comments

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Wedding bells will be chiming for multiple couples this weekend … and it’s taking place at Primanti Bros. in the Strip District.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
5 Pittsburgh Vintage Homes Stores You'll Want to Explore

5 Pittsburgh Vintage Homes Stores You'll Want to Explore

PM Editoral Intern Ellie Pesetsky shares some of her favorite up-cycled furniture and home decor stores in and around Pittsburgh.

Comments

Oakmont Glassware Company Looking to Join the Big Time

Oakmont Glassware Company Looking to Join the Big Time

Amanda Lee began painting glasses in her basement to help pay for her college education. Today, she ships her products across the globe from a new, shabby-chic warehouse and gift shop.

Comments