Rhiannon’s Kids

Children raised in the Eastern Sierra are some of the luckiest—they get to grow up experiencing the beauty of nature, surrounded by a remote, dramatic landscape. But when a medical problem arises that requires a higher level of care, our families face financial barriers that may prevent their children from getting the help they need—a trip to Los Angeles, the Bay Area or even Reno requires days off work, the cost of travel, food and often an overnight stay.

Funded entirely by donors, the Rhiannon’s Kids program supports the families of Mammoth Hospital pediatric patients who must travel outside of the Eastern Sierra for specialized medical or dental care.

Rhiannon’s Kids was founded by the Taylor family to honor the brief but precious life of Rhiannon, who was born at Mammoth Hospital in 2009 and diagnosed at birth with Trisomy 18, a fatal genetic condition. Rhiannon’s parents, Gabe and Amanda, traveled back and forth between Mammoth and Reno, Nevada during the 138 days Rhiannon lived before she passed away due to congestive heart failure, a complication of her condition.

The Taylors created Rhiannon’s Kids in hopes that the already-heavy burden of caring for a child with a unique medical condition could be eased by community support.

“Other places don’t have programs like this,” says Allana Melander, whose son Jagger was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on Mother’s Day 2022. The Melander family has been able to take advantage of the Rhiannon’s Kids program through the Mammoth Hospital Foundation. “I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to afford a hotel as a single mom,” says Allana. “I’ve seen the struggles that other families are going through, and I feel so overly blessed that this program exists to help us.”

Rhiannon’s Kids reimburses families for food, travel and lodging costs incurred on their visits out of the area for their children’s medical care. A gift of $3,000 supports one child with a chronic condition, such as pediatric cancer, for one year, and a gift of $1,500 supports one child with an acute diagnosis, such as an eye condition requiring a pediatric ophthalmologist.

In 2023, Rhiannon’s Kids supported 23 patients and expended over $20,000. Gifts to this program directly support Mammoth Hospital pediatric patients and their families and provide relief from the costs of traveling for care.

If you’d like to support Rhiannon’s Kids, you can donate online here or send a check to:

The Mammoth Hospital Foundation, PO Box 100 PMB 487, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546