The Sajni Center: A space of hope and healing for children with life-threatening illness or chronic medical conditions 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.
For FAQs about programs at The Sajni Center, please scroll down or 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 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. Siblings and parents are welcome at programs, with or without the child with illness/who has experienced illness in attendance. 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.
For FAQs about The Sajni Center, please scroll down or 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.
Who is eligible for programs at The Sajni Center?
Programs at The Sajni Center are open to families, regardless of income, who have children frombirth to age 21 who have a life-threatening illness or chronic physical health condition not developmental in nature. Some of these diagnoses include: cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, epilepsy, diabetes, asthma, spina bifida, heart conditions, and severe depression. Please reach out to us if you have questions about whether or not a family may be eligible so we can learn more!
Are siblings/parents invited to programs?
YES! Siblings and parents/legal guardians are welcome to join programs (with or without the sick child/child who has experienced illness in attendance),
Does my child need to be in active treatment for his/her life-threatening illness in order to be eligible?
Your child does not need to be in active treatment to participate in programs at The Sajni Center.
How does a family sign up for programs?
We must first receive a short form from each family, which can be completed online atlucyslovebus.org/sajnicode. When we receive that form, we will email the family with a special code that can be used to register for any program. Please note that you must register for ALL programs in advance; we are unable to accommodate walk-ins at this time, as some programs have a maximum number of participants.
Are programs available for bereaved families?
Yes, we have specific bereavement programs such as Yoga for the Tender-Hearted, but bereaved families who lost a child/sibling to life-threatening illness are welcome to join us at any of our programs. These families are still asked to fill out the short form to receive the code and registration information, available at lucyslovebus.org/sajnicode.
Will childcare be available?
We will have a staff member and/or volunteer available with activities (games, books, crafts) in an adjacent room to watch younger children or those not participating during programs. If your child requires additional support/care, please let us know in advance as we may ask that you arrange other childcare if we feel we cannot comfortably support your child depending on his/her needs.
What is the cost of the programs?
Programs are $5/person, but we have scholarships available for families who want them.
How do I see a schedule of programs?
Visit lucyslovebus.org/calendar for our event calendar, or lucyslovebus.org/sajniprograms for a list of program descriptions and dates. Once we receive a family's form, we will also add them to our text blast and email blast which is sent out early each week with that weekend's programs.
Where do programs take place?
All programs (unless otherwise noted) take place at The Sajni Center, located at 21 Water Street, 3rd Floor, Amesbury MA 01913. Located in downtown Amesbury, minutes from 95 and 495, in a fully accessible space with lots of free parking in lots across the street! Our Adventure Gang support group will take place at Three Hearts Farm for the summer (August and September), located in West Newbury.
If you have additional questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 857-277-1984.
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.