DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The Duke Cancer Institute is one of the top cancer treatment facilities in the country, helping people from all over the world.
Most of these patients need a place to stay while battling their cancer, which is what The Caring House does. They are the CBS North Carolina 3-Degree Guarantee Charity for January 2018, but they offer much more than just a roof over a patients head.
Doug and Marty Dixon are toward the end of their nine-week stay at the Caring House, just down the road from the Duke Cancer Institute. The Dixons are from Michigan and had the best chance for treatment and a cure for Doug’s brain cancer by coming to Durham.
Their home in Michigan is a 12-hour drive, meaning a commute between chemo and radiation would be nearly impossible.
Doug Dixon discovered his brain cancer after an ER visit to treat what he calls the “worst headache of my life.” A few tests later and they discovered the tumor.
While the Caring House has provided the proximity to Duke Hospital and the comforts of home, it has also provided a great support system.
Marty Dixon says, “We thought it might be kind of depressing to live here for nine weeks, but we found it to be a blessing.”
Not only do patients stay at the Caring house for $35 per night, but they also have a support system built in of others going through the exact same thing.
The Caring House, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, has 18 private rooms, complete with things like beds, TV and a bathroom.
It also has 17 other people who are going through some kind of cancer treatment too and can relate to the problems you are having.
Sheridan Van Wagenberg, the executive director says, “Caring House is so much more than a hotel where you’re by yourself, here you are with community all the time, everyone understands what you’re going through.”
Van Wagenberg goes on to say that “Doug and Marty are fine examples of is that they need community, they need that support, because they’ve had to leave that family and their loved ones behind that did support them and that’s what we pride ourselves in providing those guests.”
Not only is there a great support system, but also a great system of volunteers that help with everything from guest services to administrative tasks. They even do laundry and cook meals four nights a week.
Doug Dixon’s treatments have gone well up to this point, his wife, who is a nurse says, “bloodwork is good, he’s eating good, his cognitive skills have been good, which is excellent when radiating the brain.