Why Kevin Guest House matters to Margaret

One of our guests shares her experience staying at KGH 

Margaret Gilks stayed at Kevin Guest House following her stem cell transplant. She is pictured here between husband Colin Gilks and sister Heather Fleming, who was Margaret’s stem cell donor.  Also pictured, dog Hudson visiting Marg in the KGH Healing Garden. 

Marg tell us a bit about what staying at Kevin Guest House meant to her, and her journey to recovery. 

“When I was told that there were no beds available in Ontario for me to have a stem cell transplant and that I would be going to Roswell Park in Buffalo for the procedure, my husband and I were worried. Where would we stay during the 60 days we were required to remain near Roswell Park, after I was discharged from the hospital? How could we afford it? With my husband having to take that time off work and little income coming in, this was a serious problem.

We are so grateful that the social worker at Roswell Park arranged for us to get a transplant apartment in Kevin Guest House’s Yellow Brick House for this period. The apartment was beautiful and fully functional, with everything we needed during our stay. We only had to bring food and personal items and restock supplies available in the apartment as we used them up.  Even the location is perfect—on a pleasant treed street lined with rose bushes and hydrangea, and a 5 minute walk from Roswell Park and most other hospitals (making biweekly appointments so easy to get to) and within walking distance of Allen Town, Elmwood Village, downtown, and some lovely neighborhoods (giving patients incentive to get out and walk and rebuild their strength!). We took advantage of the beautiful garden in Kevin Guest House’s backyard as well, maintained through the generosity of volunteers and so restorative to a gardener not allowed to garden herself for one year after transplant.

The Kevin Guest House employees and volunteers staffing the campus were so wonderful—always cheerful and helpful and welcoming. And the dinners regularly provided through the generosity of volunteer groups in Kevin Guest House proper were an added perk that we were grateful for on a few occasions. We were delighted that 2 other transplant patients undergoing the procedure at Roswell Park at the same time as me were also given apartments at Kevin Guest House; it gave us the opportunity to form friendships with others who knew exactly what we were going through, and encourage one another.

Am I gushing? I have reason to—staying at Kevin Guest House went a long way in helping me recover after my transplant and hospital stay. It truly was home away from home, and I thrived there, regaining strength and vitality and optimism for the future in a place where I felt safe and happy. I don’t think I would have done as well, anywhere else—and that is not an overexaggeration!

What a wonderful, wonderful thing Kevin Guest House does. Thank you so much.”

Margaret and Colin Gilks

Ontario, Canada

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