The History of Cancer Care of NCW-Our House
Cancer Care of North Central Washington, Inc. was started in 1993 by a small group of Cancer survivors and health care professionals who realized that some of the needs of cancer patients in the North Central Washington area were no being met. The first project, which continues to be the main focus of the organization, was to purchase, remodel and furnish a hospitality house "Our House" where cancer patients can stay while undergoing cancer treatments in Wenatchee. The second project was to build a new 8 bedroom house, which was completed in the spring of 2000. The Regional Cancer Center in Wenatchee draws patients from all North Central Washington. Some patients drive as far as 3 hours one-way for treatment, the patient receives treatment five days a week for six to eight weeks. In some cases, the expense and difficulty of traveling these distances meant the patients refused treatment.
In addition to providing housing while patients undergo treatment, Cancer Care also provides financial assistance for travel expenses, for the purchase for medical needs and emergency assistance for living expenses. Cancer Care offers nursing scholarships, transportation to and from treatment, a support group and maintains a library of books of special interest to those facing a medical crisis, which is available to the community. Cancer Care also offers a grant to assist cancer patients encountering extraordinary medical expenses.
A voluntary board of nine community members, some of whom are cancer survivors, operates Cancer Care of NCW, Inc.
Cancer Care is a completely independent organization not associated with any national cancer organization. With the exception of two part-time employees, one housekeeper and one bookkeeper, Cancer Care is operated entirely by volunteers. A volunteer host or hostess staffs "Our House" 4-1/2 days a week. Patients return to their homes each Friday and return on Mondays. A resident manager lives on the premises ad is available during the nighttime hours. Approximately 100 volunteers -many of them cancer survivors- participate actively in Cancer Care. Since opening in September 1993, "Our House" has hosted 648 cancer patients who have stayed 11,873 nights often accompanied by a caregiver, for periods of up to eight weeks.