Transplant House of Cleveland celebrated its grand opening of its “Phase One” housing, at an open house on Thursday night, October 9. We send a huge “thank you” to the nearly 100 guests who came to celebrate the opening of the seventh and final fully-furnished family suite and the community suite where all families can gather for support. Visitors to the open house included medical staff of the transplant centers at Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, as well as founding donors who believed in the importance of the mission, and patients and family members who are already utilizing this specialized housing.
“While we gathered to celebrate, current Transplant House residents met a new resident who was just checking in. Within minutes, the stress of the newly-arriving family began to fade, as they were offered reassurances and promises that ‘we’re in this with you,’ he explained. “What could be more comforting to a woman who has traveled from out-of-state and is staying alone while her husband waits in the hospital for a heart transplant? Transplant House has given her a temporary home and friends that will sustain her through this time.”
Each family suite offers living room, bedroom, kitchen, bath and balcony overlooking the front lawn that faces Mayfield Road. Families are asked to donate $60 per night for use of an apartment, though the board and hospitals are working to raise funds to reduce that cost for long-term families. Erica Miller, Founding President, explains that “after a long search for a physical space in which to fulfill our mission, we are very grateful to be at the intersection of Mayfield Road and Circle Drive in University Circle, where our guests have easy access to our great medical centers and the many assets of this walkable community. University Circle, Inc. has already been a tremendous partner helping us get settled here, next door to the historic Cozad-Bates House and the Hope Lodge.”
During the open house, Transplant House of Cleveland also recognized these donors:
- Diane & Brian Vitale – first major donors and first $100,000 pledge
- Lifebanc & Gordon Bowen – $50,000 Challenge Grant (a 5-year challenge)
- Susan & Michale Fayne – $10,000 gift to meet the first year of the Lifebanc challenge
- Erica Miller & Dr. Charlie Miller – for investment of all kinds, that lead to this opening
- Roger Magowitz, David Trachtman & Friends – for donating bed frames, headboards, mattresses, sheets, pillows, and electronic recliners
- ZBT Fraternity at Case – the first work-day volunteers, who prepared the house and gardens for the grand opening
- Kiera Grady, the Saint Joseph Academy swim team and the Saint Edward High School swim team – the first fundraising group; contributed more than $1500 through their “Laps 4 Life” event
Special thanks was also given to Project Manager, Trisha Brown, and the Transplant House Facility Committee: Tony Panzica, Rob Woodbridge, Marty Cohen, and Greg Seifert.