How Friday NITE Friends Began

Rori Guerrero, with Mom Lynda and 6 year old brother Tony. In 1988, a new addition blessed the family of Tom and Lynda Guerrero. Their daughter, Rori Dyan Guerrero, was born with multiple problems involving her respiratory system, heart and an immune system deficiency. During the 15 months of her life, Rori spent about half the time in Children’s Medical Center Dallas and half at home.

Tom and Lynda were very fortunate to have good insurance. When Rori was home, there was always at least 8 hours, sometimes 24 hours, of home nursing care. Occasionally Tom, Lynda and their six year old son, Tony, could get away for family time or Tom and Lynda could get away for dinner and a movie.

Tom and Lynda knew other families with chronically ill children who did not have insurance, or had maxed out their coverage. These families were not able to have a professional caregiver with their child so they could slip away for a break.

After Rori died, Lynda started a respite program for those families needing help with their medically fragile children. In 1992, Lynda, in partnership with Custer Road United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas, founded Friday NITE Friends. The program consisted of a medical room staffed with pediatric nurses for medically fragile children, an intermediate room for children with special needs, and additional rooms and activities for siblings. The program provided a four hour respite each Friday night. In the years following, Lynda helped mentor the startup of many new respite efforts at other churches.

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