Families now have a place to rest their heads, hearts as loved ones undergo cancer treatment

When Marilyn Kindwall made a gift to Aurora Health Care Foundation in honor of her late husband, Dr. Eric Kindwall, she wanted the gift to make a difference – just as Eric had for so many people throughout his life.

Marilyn Kindwall dedicated the family overnight lounge to the memory of her husband, Dr. Eric Kindwall.

Marilyn Kindwall dedicated the family overnight lounge to the memory of her husband, Dr. Eric Kindwall.

Dr. Eric Kindwall, known as the “father of hyperbaric medicine” truly left his mark on Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center.  The first medical director of the Center for Comprehensive Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, he was passionately committed to hyperbaric medicine until he passed away in January, 2012 from cancer.

Marilyn Kindwall still remembers visiting Eric in the hospital while he was receiving treatment for his cancer.  So when the Foundation asked for support to create a family overnight lounge on an inpatient cancer unit, she and her daughter, Tara, felt it would serve as a meaningful tribute to his memory.

Marilyn Kindwall with Richard McCoy, a friend of Eric’s since high school.

Marilyn Kindwall with Richard McCoy, a friend of Eric’s since high school.

“Eric would love this,” said Marilyn as she gathered with Richard McCoy, a good friend of Eric’s, and Aurora St. Luke’s administration and foundation staff to dedicate the space for families.

The family overnight lounge is located on an inpatient floor for people undergoing an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant as treatment for their multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Patients stay around 1-2 weeks to recover from the procedure.

“We knew we needed a space for the families who travel great distances to be with their loved one,” said Terrie Vos, vice president of clinical operations at Aurora St. Luke’s.  “We are so grateful for the Kindwall family’s support to make this a reality.”

The lounge features chairs that convert into beds for family overnight stays.

The lounge features chairs that convert into beds for family overnight stays.

Jayme Cotter, clinical nurse specialist for inpatient oncology, was all smiles in seeing the transformation of an old training room into a beautiful, private space for families. “The only place patients could really reconnect with their family members was in the lobby area,” she said.  “Now we will be able to offer them a more private space for those reunions that mean so much for their healing.”


 

To join the Kindwall’s in their support of patients and families at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, contact Bridgette Frommell at 414-414-649-3636 or Bridgette.Frommell@aurora.org or make a gift online at Give.Aurora.org.  

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