UPDATE Feburary 1, 2018 | Marquette, MI —
We wish all our stories at Beacon House Marquette would end with recovery. In our mission to provide emotional support and hospitality to patients and families receiving critical medical care, we often form some significant bonds with our guests.
Ed was one of those special guests for over year. He was a beloved long-term Beacon House resident, and we all fell in love. Ed is our cover model, the feature of our 2017 newsletter, because his fight embodied the resilience and bravery we hope emboldens all of our guests.
We’d like to think we not only extended his life, but brought him comfort and joy, for as long as he was with us. Ed would spend evenings in the Beacon House lobby having long talks with our front desk clerks, developing deep and emotional friendships.
He was kind, gentle, and he loved dogs! Among the chaos of his treatment, he mostly wanted to talk about dogs.
Ed was fighting multiple diagnoses. For a year he battled kidney failure, receiving rigorous treatment and awaiting a transplant. Recently, he was also diagnosed with cancer. Ed left this world with the same dignity he carried throughout his life and during his stay at Beacon House.
He passed away on January 22, 2018. We will miss you, Ed. You have made an impact on Beacon House and every one of us in it. You are forever a friend. May you now rest in peace.
Ed commutes weekly to Beacon House from Engadine to receive hemodialysis at UPHS-Marquette. At first, the rigorous treatment schedule took a toll on his body. He started to lose weight rapidly. Ed needs a new kidney, but the wait could be up to five years.
At Stage 5 kidney failure, patients undergo Hemodialysis treatments three times a week. To filter and clean his blood, treatment can last four hours at a time.
The side effects can range from anemia and muscle cramps to sleep problems and depression. So, Ed needs to be on a special diet, he needs a place to rest, and he needs continual support. When kidney disease affects your body’s ability to properly filter blood, dialysis can be the only treatment. Until Ed gets a new kidney, his treatment plan won’t change. It’s now about treatment management.
This is why the stability of services provided by the Hospitality House of the Upper Peninsula are essential to Ed’s health. We hope to offer the rock Ed needs to manage treatment, to stay healthy, and continue to be a good applicant for a new kidney when one becomes available.
His only family nearby is a sister in Escanaba. Often times, patients commute to UPHS – Marquette and don’t have lodging foundation without Beacon House. Hemodialysis is expensive. Because of the duration of his stay, to add the cost of lodging on Ed’s worry-list, hotel costs would be an additional $12,000. If Ed stayed at his sister’s or commuted daily from Engadine, the burden would be exponentially worse. Being blocks away from treatment is enabling Ed to stay healthy, make appointments, get rest, and make friends at Beacon House.
When he got into a routine at here, he started to sit in the lobby with our night manager to share life stories. Occasionally, they carpooled back to the Eastern U.P. together. Ed found companions at Beacon House. We took one less worry off his plate. He brightened up. He regained weight. His health improved. Ed became #BeaconStrong. He is now one of our most engaged long-term residents.