January 17, 2018
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A dream come true: Holden hospitality house welcomes cancer patients, open house later this month

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff
Updated:
Ashley L. Conti | BDN | BDN
Ashley L. Conti | BDN | BDN
Sarah's House in Holden is seen Wednesday. The former Fox Run Furniture building on U.S. Route 1A is being converted into housing for families of cancer victims from outside the area as a place to stay while they or their loved ones are undergoing treatment in Bangor-Brewer. Sarah's House has completed construction and welcome its first visitors for a soft opening earlier this month, with plans for an open house on Oct. 19.

HOLDEN, Maine — With its soft opening underway, Sarah’s House of Maine is gearing up for its public debut during an open house later this month.

Set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19, the event will provide the public an opportunity to visit the region’s first hospitality house for adults undergoing cancer treatment at Eastern Maine Medical Center Cancer Care, just a few miles up Route 1A in Brewer.

Sarah’s House was the dream of Sarah Robinson, a young wife, mother and Old Town Rotarian who was diagnosed with cancer in 2010.

Sarah and her husband, Ben, had to travel from Old Town to Boston for treatment. Through that experience, they learned about places where cancer patients could stay for little or no cost during their treatment, according to Sarah’s House of Maine’s website.

When Sarah returned to the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer, she met patients who, like her, had traveled hundreds of miles and spent hours in the car, driving from Maine’s most rural areas for treatment.

Sarah wanted to provide them access to low-cost or no-cost temporary housing like she had seen in Boston.

Before she died in December 2011, Sarah brought together a group of Maine Rotarians, cancer survivors, civic leaders and treatment providers who formed a nonprofit corporation to take on the task.

Lindsay Turner, Sarah’s identical twin, is one of the driving forces behind the undertaking, along with Sarah’s husband, Ben Robinson.

Turner said Friday that the first patient arrived on Oct. 1 and a few other families have since stayed there, Turner said, adding the people behind the project wanted to make sure the bugs were worked out before the house’s public debut.

“There have been no hiccups,” she said. “Sarah’s dream has come true, officially.”

Turner said that the open house also will offer fall treats and music, among other things. For more information, call Turner at 745-1998.

 


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