Friday, February 18, 2022 is National Caregivers Day. We thought it would be a fitting time to share this wonderfully written letter we received from a current guest, Annie Agrasto, caregiver to her husband, Andy.

When my husband, Andy, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in mid- 2018, we were blindsided.  Once the initial panic settled, we opted to travel from Syracuse to Buffalo for several months of treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.   After considering the list of available lodging accommodations, we chose Kevin Guest House for its affordability, community living, private suites and apartments, and close proximity to RPCI.     

Leaving our home, family, pets and jobs was emotionally and financially difficult – especially with Andy in the hospital and me alone at KGH.  But soon, I developed an unexpected support system.  Between working remotely, daily visits to the hospital, laundry, and an occasional glass of wine with other guests, friendships were forged as we shared our stories…laughing, encouraging, crying and sometimes sadly consoling.   After Andy was discharged, we stayed in a private suite at Salvatore House, where we also made several new friends.  When it was time to return home, our departure was bittersweet.   Numbers and addresses were exchanged, and we still keep in touch with those dear friends.

When Andy was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in July 2021, our hearts dropped.  But as we hurriedly prepared to return to Roswell Park, the weight of one burden was immediately lifted when we were able to make a reservation to again stay at KGH.  This time, I’m staying in the upper Brick House apartment, which is reserved for transplant patients and caregivers.  Although Andy was able to join me in the apartment for a short while after he was discharged in December 2021, the leukemia relapsed almost immediately and he is currently back at Roswell Park for a third round of cancer treatment.  

With all sincerity, I can say I’ve never felt alone during my many months at KGH, and the devastation of cancer cannot break the spirit of hope and support that embodies Kevin Guest House.  Even with mandatory social distancing, masks and safety restrictions due to the Covid pandemic, the KGH staff is truly supportive, and the atmosphere remains warm and welcoming.  

With heartfelt gratitude, we thank the staff, volunteers, and fundraisers of KGH for their commitment and dedication that keeps the Garvey Family legacy alive and enables guests to “Enter as Strangers.  Leave as Friends.” 

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