When is the last time you visited a loved one in the hospital? What if that person was there for more than a few days and you lived hours away? You could stay in a hotel, but that's an expense you may not be able to afford.
Kathy's House is the only non-profit center in Milwaukee County that provides lodging and a supportive environment to families of adult patients during what is one of life's most stressful situations: the serious illness of a loved one. "80% of families that stay at Kathy's House have a loved one with cancer," says Patty Metropulos, CEO and Executive Director of Kathy's House. "They travel from Appleton, Wausau, the U.P….all over Wisconsin and the upper Midwest to come to Milwaukee for medical care." Metropulos says, for a family to stay in a hotel for the a duration of that time, the cost could easily be at least $10,000.
The atmosphere is very comfortable, like a home-away-from-home. From individual bedrooms to common areas, Kathy's House offers peer support for families and patients needing long-term hospital care. Since opening in 2001, Kathy's House has provided services to more than 6,000 families.
During my visit, I had the honor of chatting with Barb, a resident at Kathy's House since 2014. When the hospital in Appleton was unable to handle the treatment of her cancer, they sent her down to Froedert. That's when someone recommended Kathy's House. "They're just like my family…they've become my family," Barb shares.
Kathy's House is able to operate in part with donations and volunteer power. Find out how you can help by checking out their website here.
Click the story above to hear more from Barb and hear the touching story behind the inception of Kathy's House.