Over the years, Dr. Kelly Sullivan, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Annapolis, Maryland, has performed hundreds of reconstructive procedures on cancer patients. One particular day, an exhausted breast cancer patient entered Dr. Sullivan’s office with her three young children in tow. Her 6-year-old daughter gazed up at Dr. Sullivan and asked, “If my mommy goes into the hospital again, will she die?” The little girl’s mother explained that although she was sick, she was in treatment and would get better. She then turned and asked Dr. Sullivan if she had any other cancer patients with young children that her kids could talk to so they wouldn’t feel so frightened and alone.
Unfortunately, Dr. Sullivan had many.
Our goal is to fill the gap in services not currently provided by traditional health care organizations.
During their visit, the family shared with Dr. Sullivan all that they had endured since the mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Sullivan began to think about what she could do to offer her patients support—and, on a much larger scale, what the Annapolis community could offer cancer patients and their families during the difficult treatment phase. Cancer patients deal not only with an emotionally and physically exhausting diagnosis, but with treatments that often last for months. Patients are frequently unable to work. Some lose their jobs and insurance coverage as a result of their diagnosis. Patients with young children at home face an even more difficult task of being physically unable to care for their kids at the same time that they are struggling to help them cope with the fact that their parent is sick.
Dr. Sullivan decided to do more to help these families. She began to research centers in other communities that provide a comforting place outside of the medical community where cancer patients and their families can go to relax, talk, and find comfort. While many cities and communities have facilities that offer such needed support, Annapolis did not. In 2007, with the help of the Annapolis Rotary Club, Dr. Sullivan founded Wellness House of Annapolis. Local philanthropist Janet Richardson-Pearson generously donated the use of a picturesque, historic farmhouse on Mas Que Farm Road, and Wellness House of Annapolis opened our doors to the public in June 2009.
Today, we offer 22 free programs and services to cancer patient and their loved ones from diagnosis to survivorship.
The mission of Wellness House of Annapolis is to provide support, education, and services to help individuals and families who have been touched by cancer recover their health and well-being in a home-like environment.
Wellness House of Annapolis is a gathering place where cancer patients and their loved ones can learn healthy coping skills while dealing with the effects of cancer. It is a safe place where those going through the process of treatment and recovery can connect and support each other.