A Milwaukee home away from home for people needing cancer treatment and other medical services just celebrated 15 years.
Kathy's House in Milwaukee has helped thousands of patients and their families. Patty Metropulos, Executive Director and CEO says, "since we've opened in July 2001 we've served over 15,000 families and served over 105,000 nights of guest lodging to both patients receiving outpatient care as well as their family members."
Ernie Gutierezz is a Marine from North Carolina. He's been at Kathy's house recovering from a bone marrow transplant. Gutierezz notes, "It's not just the financial side, its moral support also. They're here to help you. I greatly appreciate that."
Kathy's House is run by a small staff of seven people and more than 300 volunteers.
Metropulos added, "we are the only hospital guest house in Milwaukee that serves patients of all ages. It's for their families and for people that have to come to Milwaukee for medical care. We are here to provide them with a home away from home environment."
The home is named after Kathy Vogel who died of cancer at 39 back in 2000.
Metropulos explains, "she conveyed to her parents that before she passed away if they wanted to do something in her memory, look to opening a facility." So a year after her death, Kathy's House was born. It's located at 600 North 103rd Street and is open 24 hours a day. Kathy's House gives families a lift during a challenging time in life.
The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. As Gutierezz points out, “there's a caption over one of their doorways that says, you enter as a guest but you leave as a friend."