Leonisa, a retiree from Vancouver now living in Lillooet with her husband Mike, never thought a lingering fever would bring such devastating news, but after a third trip to the ER, doctors diagnosed her with leukemia and she was immediately flown to Vancouver General Hospital.
When Leonisa was ready to start her chemotherapy, she was released from the hospital, but had to stay in Vancouver for six months of treatment.
From the list of accommodations the hospital gave to them, Mike started to do his research, reading reviews and looking at websites, but it was very overwhelming, making him feel even more lost and unsure. Mike thought Easter Seals House was their best option. He picked up the phone to call and Cindy answered.
Mike just let it all out. All the stress, all the worry, all the pain. After he finished telling his story, Cindy said, “You probably have a huge list in front of you with things to do. The one that says where to stay, check that one off. That one is done. You have a place to stay.”
“That was a pivot point for me. You hear a lot of stories from a person who’s ill, but the caregiver is the one that all that other stuff falls on to. It’s a lot,” said Mike. “She was my first impression of Easter Seals House. Cindy’s firm, calm reassurance anchored me in the storm. She represented the whole of Easter Seals House for me and I’ve found that first impression to hold true. They cared.”
Today, Mike knows all the staff by name. Staff who always found the time to listen to him as he went through the hardest time of his life. They all knew it was the support he needed.
When Mike was near his breaking point, he would come back to the house and talk to Cindy at the front desk before heading up to his room. “I can’t say enough about the place itself, the people are over the top kind.”
Mike and Leonisa still come back to Vancouver every few months for appointments and always stay at Easter Seals House. “The house may not be a fancy hotel, but it’s exactly what we need. A safe, low cost place to stay that is convenient. We can cook our own food, making it fresh and healthy to help Leonisa in her recovery. Even having a laundromat helped me feel like I had order back in my life.”
Mike and Leonisa’s story is only possible because of the generosity and support of our donors. Thank you for making sure that families have a safe, secure place to stay when they need it most.