Military families find relief at Fisher House
Having a loved one so hurt they have to be hospitalized is
more than enough stress without having to worry about
being able to hold their hand and wipe away their tears.
That’s where the Fisher House comes in for members of our
The Laubach family of Boston found out just how crucial
the Fisher House can be when one of their members was
admitted to the VA Hospital in Seattle. Frank Laubach
was diagnosed with T-Cell lymphoma last fall.
“Treatments have not been successful, he’s gotten
progressively worse, and then he ended up here last week
when his heart and lungs became involved. He has only one
kidney, and we got a phone call Monday that that kidney is
failing,” says Frank’s sister Kathy.
So, Kathy got on the phone with her sister Sue, her mother
Joyce, and her father Gene to figure out what to do. She
says they were frantic trying to coordinate plane
reservations, find a hotel and figure out how they were
going to pay for it all.
“And when, you mother, found out about Fisher House, it was
just relief,” sighs Kathy.
The Fisher House Foundation is a non-profit that has built
homes at VA and military hospitals around the country.
The facilities are close enough that their guests can walk
over and see their hospitalized loved ones any time of the
day or night. They offer a kitchen and laundry, so there
is a little less their guests have to worry about. And,
what’s even more important, they offer a unique sense of
“You know, it’s paying it forward. You help each other.
If we were in a hotel, you would not have that sense of
community at all,” says Kathy.
“Just bring your money at the hotel,” adds her father,
No money is accepted at the Fisher House, not from their
guests anyway. They offer their rooms free of charge to
the families of veterans and active military members for
as long as they need them.
Frank’s mother Joyce says she is grateful she can be so
close to her son in what will likely be the final days of
his life. Frank’s sister, Sue, says it would be even more
important for hospitalized military members who have young
children, like those at Joint Base Lewis McChord.
“Immeasurable for the children, the young children […]
to be able to physically be there and even touch, hold
hands, get hugs, would be wonderful,” says Sue.
97.3 KIRO FM is teaming up with Fisher House to build a
brand new home at JBLM.