“A Home Away From Home”
I have a DREAM and VISION that has done nothing but EXPAND and GROW as it sits in waiting, unable to move forward until we get our own renovation done and a certain amount of stability for my family first. It feels like oxygen masks on an airplane to me, when they tell you in cases of an emergency, to “make sure you put your own oxygen on before you help the person next to you”. That said, I still made certain decisions based on the fact that they made goals and opportunities possible that were too important to pass up or let go. It wasn’t just about me, but about how many others would be helped as well… and although it was only one Apt. to begin with, I had to start somewhere…”every journey begins with a single step”.
My MISSION, as I later heard someone call it :), is to turn the unit my mum and I are in right now into a short term furnished rental for transplant patients and their families, a “home away from home”, where they can escape at the end of a long day at the hospital to a healing space of their own. It’s a way I get to use my love for design to help other people, giving them a place that feels like a quality rental, not simply college style living :), but is priced in a way that will save them money compared to the hospital rates at the hotel. There is still always the Family House, but different to that, they will get a “home” not just a single room… and being a transplant patient, you won’t have to share kitchen facilities and social areas while living with a compromised immune system.
Although the support system can be nice at The Family House, you will still be able to get that sense of support here, as the Apt. is rented by a family having gone through all of it themselves… who live on the same street… but instead of being surrounded by everything medical 24/7, you are part of a neighborhood as well. And when you, as the patient, get out of the hospital, you get to feel a part of life, which from experience is a wonderful thing… it reminds you of what you are striving to live for every day instead of feeling like your world has become all about transplant. You also have that additional luxury of privacy.
Although it is going to start off with just one unit, my goal is to use what I’m learning in real estate investment to create more and hopefully watch it grow from there. I also want to start a foundation in support of it, as even with the discounted rates being offered, the financial stress builds up over time. For some it is there from the very beginning, but as anyone knows who has gone through a medical journey, you do what you have to when you don’t have a choice. I wish I could offer it for free, but I’ve at least found a way that I can help others while helping my family at the same time. Design, architecture and real estate investment is a passion I have found that I can do even now and hopefully in the future if I survive, a career where I will be able to make my own hours having unknown good days and bad, and how often do you get to do what you love while helping others? I’m praying I live to see it all happen!
Most of all, I’m alive now, and I’m praying I can move into my apt. so I can finally start working on what does exist today!… our first “home away from home”. We’ve already had people ask about it, which kills me to have to say “no”, knowing that it could be helping someone now if we could just get “unstuck”. lol It needs a little work of its own, but far less than our apt. at 1501 Buena Vista St needed… and although I wouldn’t rent it out as is, it’s been safe enough for us to live in with my immune system as we finish our renovation. (The stories that have happened in here since becoming owners are hilarious :)… but I wouldn’t trade pushing through with the purchase for anything. I’m just happy WE moved into the un-renovated apt. and used the beautiful, newly renovated, 2 bedroom apt. on the upper two floors as the rental!)
WELCOME TO 1604 BUENA VISTA STREET!
I’m sorry I have to be so aloof right now, I have a name for it and have a business plan all set up :)… but until I’ve done the correct legal things, like copyright names and the Foundation etc, it probably sounds a bit like gibberish talking around things. lol For now, those two bottom windows are the front room of the apt., obviously choosing the ground unit for ease of the patient. It will be two years this April though (2013) that mum and I have been the first family to make use of it :), and although not the home I want it to be yet, it has helped us financially already, getting help with the mortgage from the tenants upstairs instead of having to rent yet another place all this time. It was 6 months of hard work on my part, a lot of patience and support on the sellers (who had a cash offer higher than what we had agreed upon and nothing binding him to me), and the support of a few very wonderful close friends, that allowed the deal to finally close. As we continue to work on it, mum and I have been able to live just a block away from what will soon be my dream “happy place” and home.
If all goes well, my mission/goal will start sooner than later, I will get to find strength to help my own survival, as I fill my heart with the joy of using design to turn this into the first beautiful transplant rental :), I can figure out how to start my Foundation, pray that my own surgery brings the miracle I long for, and if it does, I then have a vision that has grown into long term goals as well. I only know that I do have this chance right now and would love nothing more than the simple dream of my own home and at least this one space that I can watch my dream come to fruition. I hope I can share it with all of you!