The Wellness House of Annapolis is entirely funded through the generosity of individuals, foundations, and corporations – we do not charge for any services.
Every single gift makes a tangible impact on our programs, groups, and services – and therefore, on every cancer survivor and loved one who enters our home. This support makes a difference in the lives of the more than 6,000 individuals who have come through our doors.
Dear Wellness House Supporters,
I want to tell you my story, to share with you the immense gratitude we have for your generosity and the difference you are making in people’s lives. On February 6, 2012, my husband Dave was diagnosed at the age of 42 with Liposarcoma, a rare and vicious cancer. Our innocent cancer free world was shattered. It was a completely terrifying and life changing diagnosis for Dave, me, and our six young children: Cullen (14), Tommy (12), Jack (9), Casey (7), Molly (6), and Danny (3). Dave had to endure two years of treatments in an attempt to get ahead of the cruel cancer. These treatments included nine surgeries, ten weeks of radiation treatments, and nine rounds of chemo which each required a five-day hospital stay with infusions of chemo for four straight days. We stopped counting at 100 nights staying at Johns Hopkins. Needless to say, trying to keep our family going while battling Liposarcoma full time was extremely difficult emotionally, physically, and financially for all of us. Dave was either too sick or in too much pain to ever go back to his workplace after January 2012.
When you are faced with a diagnosis of cancer in your family, life as you know it changes immediately. You are thrust on a journey that you didn’t know you were going on and had no time to plan for. As scary and unpredictable as it is though, there are also many unexpected blessings that appear just when you think you can’t keep going anymore. In the span of one week at the end of February 2012, I heard about one of those blessings – the Wellness House – from three different and unrelated sources. Thankfully, I recognized that this was a sign and reached out. I had no idea then that it would be the beginning of a relationship with a special place that to this day continues to provide peace, comfort, and security for our family.
From the moment I reached out, I was welcomed by a loving group whose entire mission was to help families dealing with cancer. I quickly joined a support group that helped me to connect with and lean on other caregivers at a time when I felt incredibly alone, struggling to learn how to care for Dave and my six children. Lifelong friends were made! Dave and I both had massages given by professionals donating their services, providing much needed relaxation and peace of mind which he never would have been able to do otherwise. My kids were able to meet and become friends with other kids dealing with similar issues surrounding cancer so that they didn’t feel so alone. They learned that they would be okay no matter what happened… even when their Dad died. That is truly an immeasurable gift that I am eternally grateful for. My children have been part of small groups, large groups, summer camps, music therapy, art therapy, holiday parties, and field trips all led by social workers and volunteers who specialize in helping families with cancer. These people generously dedicate their time and expertise to a place that offers their services at no charge to the families they serve. My kids have come back to be counselors themselves because of what they’d received.
What Dr. Kelly Sullivan so generously started years ago continues to this day to provide a lifeline for families in crisis and change lives for the better. Dave was so grateful for the support the kids and I had, and he knew we would continue our relationship there. It’s hard to put into words the impact the Wellness House has had and continues to have on my family. While grief counseling was not the initial mission of the Wellness House, thankfully they have adapted to serve the needs of the members. I was part of their first bereavement support group and it was a gift at the right time for me. To meet and connect with an incredible group of women who have all been through the hell of cancer as caregivers, lost their spouse, and been pulled through it all by the generosity and kindness from the Wellness House helped me feel I am not alone. The kids and I tried other groups at different places but it didn’t feel right. Nothing against those groups, but there’s something special about the Wellness House that can’t be explained- instead you have to experience it. The Wellness House has continually provided the right people, at the right place, at the right time to help us through our journey with cancer, and all at no cost. It is thanks to the support of caring donors like you, that this support is possible. We are extremely grateful! Thank you from the bottom of our heart, and please give what you can so that the Wellness House may continue to provide this kind of support for others!
Maura, Cullen, Tommy, Jack, Casey, Molly, and Danny McGee
Wellness House Members