The Sajni Center: A space of hope and healing for children with cancer or life-threatening illness and their families
Programs at The Sajni Center are open to families, regardless of income, who have children from birth to age 21 who have a life-threatening illness or chronic physical health condition not developmental in nature that affects a child's daily life or requires more frequent and intensive medical care than is typically required. Some of these diagnoses include: cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, epilepsy, diabetes, asthma, spina bifida, heart conditions, and severe depression. Siblings and parents/legal guardians are welcome to join programs, and childcare will be available on-site if needed during parent-oriented programs.
To view a list of events at The Sajni Center, please click here.
As Lucy's Love Bus has expanded, we noticed a great need for a healing PLACE for our families and our community to gather and grow together. We are so pleased to introduce The Sajni Center, our brand new healing space in Amesbury, Massachusetts! We will be filling this glorious space with love and light, guided by Lucy and Sajni, in providing innovative workshops and programs for those who need them.
Programs are open to children with cancer or life-threatening illnesses and their immediate family (siblings and parents/caregivers). Programs will note if they are intended for children or adults, and any age minimums. All kid programs are open to siblings as well as the child with cancer or life-threatening illness.
To view a list of events at The Sajni Center, open to children with cancer or life-threatening illnesses and their immediate families, please click here.
This was all inspired by our dear Sajni Chakrabarti, who left us far too soon on July 1st, 2017, at eight years old. She was a lover of elephants, a rider of horses, the best big sister to her little sister Anandi, beloved daughter of Vanessa & Prabal, and a smiling friend to all who knew her. We are honored to dedicate our new home of healing to her.
[ syll. saj-ni, sa-jni ] The girl name Sajni is pronounced as SAEJHNiy †. The name's meaning is one Who is dearly loved, beloved.
Sajni was 8 years old when Lucy's Love Bus connected with her family in fall 2016. She had been diagnosed with DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma), a brain tumor, 10 months prior. Sajni loved animals, and was so excited about starting therapeutic horseback riding. Her speech had begun to slow, and her body wasn't moving in a way she was used to; she was eager for a chance to be in control and on horseback.
Sajni started horseback riding, and fell in love. She continued to go to the farm as long as she could. Even a few weeks before her death, when she could no longer ride horses, she went just to play and interact with them.
"She smiled often. She went to different classes to tell students not to patronize those who were different, but treat them the same as everyone else. She continued to roll her eyes at my jokes and make her own. Always maintaining her independent spirit and spunk, I remember her telling me, as I forced another bad tasting medicine on her – “[Give it] Now or never.” We read her the Phantom Tollbooth and Little Women. We bought a bunny to perch and nuzzle contentedly on her lap. At the end, she did not suffer. We released 36 butterflies, one for each season of her life at her funeral. I hear her and see her – a flutter in my ears, a flitting about my eyes. She remains forever the ambassador of curiosity, of courage, and of joy." -Prabal, Sajni and Anandi's father
Sajni passed away in July 2017. She is survived by her younger sister Anandi, mother Vanessa, father Prabal, and many loved ones. Knowing the profound effect therapeutic horseback riding had on Sajni, her family asked for contributions to Lucy's Love Bus in lieu of sending flowers. Thanks to Sajni's friends and family, Lucy's Love Bus is not only able to open the new healing space in Amesbury named after Sajni, but also has a select amount of funding available for siblings of Lucy's Love Bus kids to also participate in integrative therapies. For Sajni, integrative therapies such as horseback riding, animal therapy, massage, and acupuncture were always the good moments when she could forget about the illness, the disabilities, and the difficult treatments. Her family is so glad that other children, including siblings, can benefit from these therapies thanks to Lucy Love Bus.
We are in a beautiful, historic mill building in downtown Amesbury, MA. There is ample free parking in the lots across the street; on-street parking has a 2 hour limit. There is a green Carriage Mills sign in front of the building, by the entrance to the lobby. Once you enter the lobby, walk back towards the mailboxes and take the elevator on your right to the 3rd floor. Exit the elevator and walk straight; we are the second door on your right (across from the red freight elevator) with the butterfly sign!
From Boston and points south
Driving: From 95 north, take exit 58B to merge onto MA-110 W/Macy St toward Interstate 495/Amesbury. At the first light, turn right onto Elm St. In 1.7 miles, turn left on Water Street; you will see parking lots on the left, and we are in the taller mill building with a green Carriage Mills sign out front.
Public transportation: Take the commuter rail from North Station to Newburyport (schedule here). From the Newburyport rail station, take the #54 MVRTA bus 6 stops to the Nicholas J Costello Transportation Center in Amesbury (schedule here). (Uber or taxis may also be available from Newburyport to Amesbury.) From the Costello Transportation Center, you will follow the walking path left, along the water (Plumbush Creek) towards the back of the parking lot. The path crosses a small bridge to the back of another parking lot; this is the parking lot for The Sajni Center, located in the Carriage Mills building, about a 2 minute walk once stepping off the bus.
From Haverhill and points west:
Driving: From 495 north, take exit 54 for MA-150 toward Amesbury. Turn right onto MA-150 N (signs for Amesbury) and drive straight for 1.5 miles. At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit onto Elm St and then take a quick right onto Water Street. You will see parking lots on the left, and we are in the taller mill building with a green Carriage Mills sign out front.
Public transportation: (Click here to see if you qualify for MVRTA special services for direct transportation from some Merrimack Valley cities to Amesbury.)
From the Washington Square Transit Station, take the #51 MVRTA bus 4 stops to the Costello Transportation Center in Amesbury (schedule here). From the Costello Transportation Center, you will follow the walking path left, along the water (Plumbush Creek) towards the back of the parking lot. The path crosses a small bridge to the back of another parking lot; this is the parking lot for The Sajni Center, located in the Carriage Mills building, about a 2 minute walk once stepping off the bus.
From Portsmouth/Portland and points north:
From 95 south, take exit 58 for Massachusetts 110 toward Salisbury/Amesbury. Keep left at the fork to make the left turn onto 110/Macy Street; after making the left turn, get into the right most lane to turn right at the light onto Elm St. In 1.7 miles, turn left on Water Street; you will see parking lots on the left, and we are in the taller mill building with a green Carriage Mills sign out front.