The housing options offered to mesothelioma patients is one of the most helpful avenues of support provided by the International Mesothelioma Program (IMP) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma is overwhelming enough, but worrying about where to seek treatment and where to stay while undergoing treatment only add to the stress these patients face. Treatments can last weeks sometimes months and hotel bills can get very costly. The IMP has made it a part of its mission to provide a solution to this problem for its patients.
Across the street from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts is a triple decker house located at 48 Francis Street. Mesothelioma patients and their families commonly refer to it as “The House.” The House which is owned by the hospital opened its doors in 2008. The families of mesothelioma patients who are undergoing treatment can stay at the House for a small per night donation.
The House has three floors. The second and third floors can accommodate up to three families; the first floor up to two families. The families share a comfortable living room, fully equipped kitchen, and back deck area. Each family has their own fully furnished private bedroom. Having the shared living spaces provides families with an area where they can congregate at the end of the day to share stories, talk or just silently support one another.
One of my clients who received his mesothelioma treatment at the IMP stayed at the House for three weeks during his surgery, treatment, and recovery. He and his wife described the House as “their home away from home.” They found the House to be very comfortable and convenient. My client’s wife especially appreciated being able to get together with the other wives at the end of a long day.
I had the pleasure of visiting the House a number of times. I was very impressed. The House is a beautiful home for patients and their families who have to travel from far away for treatment.
Support System for Families and Patients
While staying at the House, families and patients have a chance to connect with others who are going through the same experiences and emotions. Families and patients provide one another with support, encouragement, hope and comfort.
Families have the opportunity to gather at the end of the day, eat meals together, share stories or just relax. My client and his wife became very close with the families with whom they shared the House.
Mesothelioma is a unique cancer and treatment can be strenuous. Being surrounded by people who can relate to their experiences provides a special kind of support that patients and their families cannot find elsewhere.
The team members of the IMP are also a part of the support offered at the House. Doctors, nurses, chaplains, social workers, and counselors are always available to cross Francis Street and tend to the needs of their patients and loved ones.
Not Just a House
The House at the IMP is not simply a house but it is a home, shelter and haven for mesothelioma patients and their families. The House provides care, support and respite for patients and their caregivers.
For reservations, contact social worker Charlene Haouiliya at (617) 732-5500, ext. 32819.