Karen's Hospitality Homes Experience

This weekend, we received an e-mail from a guest who wanted to share her story. Her courageous words touched us all. Read here what she said.

 

My husband was treated for a very rare cancer. We had packed our car, left for Dana Farber and expected to be in Boston for two months. I planned to stay at a hotel, but the hotel/hospital agreement only offered the hospital rate for up to two months. During his admission testing we found out his condition had worsened, and the hospital sent us home with our fully packed car that day. We left our belongings in the car until we got a call that the doctors decided to treat the cancer more aggressively and to come back. Well, there were more delays and complications and in the wink of an eye my lonesome two months in the hotel were very rapidly nearing an end. I knew I couldn't afford to stay at the full rate. The Dana Farber social worker and the coordinator of patient services both recommended Hospitality Homes. I just couldn't imagine imposing on another family and after some prayer and more encouragement from a patient advocate, I finally got the courage to call Hospitality Homes.

There was something I read in the literature that said if the person in the hospital could be brave, you could be brave and move in with a family. I wanted to be brave for my husband, but truthfully it was a difficult decision.

Right away I was able to send an application using the computers and fax machines at the hospital and my references were called. My references told me they were asked to confirm my character. It was a very thorough interview. My boss was one of my references.

I was approved and Hospitality Homes matched me with a family that couldn't have been a better fit.

I heard from my host family and right away we clicked. I love and train dogs and they warned me of the goofy dog they had. So I knew it was going to be the right place.  

My hosts welcomed me with open arms, and explained the way the house worked. The dog instantly became a comfort to me and I was even able to work on some behavior issues she had which I think surprised my hosts.  

My husband received treatments and I was able to be with him everyday. I stayed with my hosts for about a month. It was so good to be around people who encouraged me to keep faith during discouaging moments. Also their regular daily routine helped me sleep and take care of myself better. My husband liked hearing stories of things happening in the house.

When we left Boston the last thing we did was go back to where I had stayed and my husband met my hosts who I had felt became like my Dad, sister and brother.

Unfortunately my husband did not beat his cancer. But I am so thankful that I was able to see him, walk with him and enjoy his last days. We never gave up hope and I think our marriage was stronger because we were able to be together.

I still write and call my hosts. I hope we remain friends forever because they pulled me through some very difficult days. I know not all guests and hosts bond like we did, but we were put together for a special reason.

It is very difficult to find affordable housing in Boston for a hospital stay. I hope Hospitality Homes continues and that people open up an extra room to an out of towner. It was a great blessing for us to be together.