Monday, February 16, 2009

The Pete Gross House

My new home in Seattle is apartment #412 in The Pete Gross House. I'm in a corner apartment on the fouth floor (okay, a little obvious). It's a two bedroom (plus sleeper sofa), two bath, and is fairly spacious. It comes furnished, although I find myself in need in quite a few basics, such as cookware and lamps. I hope to get out soon to do a little shopping to finish settling in. Many of you know I am quite the nester, so I will not feel done until I am fully unpacked, rearranged a couple of times, stocked up, and can officially pronounce myself moved-in.

There are lots of windows, which I really like, as well as a small balcony. The fresh air is wonderful, despite the traffic noise that accompanies opening the balcony door or windows. The Pete Gross House is truly located in downtown Seattle, complete with nearby freeway and on/off ramps. I do have a nice view of the south end of Lake Union and can watch the seaplanes take off and land. I can also see Angie's office. Small world....

It is a six-story apartment building, plus a beautiful rooftop garden and sitting areas, a nice lobby area, and even has its own school, The Hutch School. It essentially a one room classroom for patients and siblings housed here while their families are here for treatment. It is fully accredited and the only one of its kind in the U.S.

I'm posting some pics of the apartment and views. After I finish moving in, i.e. some personal pictures and touches are done and all the To Do piles are either completed or hidden, I will take a few more pics and post as well.

To my gals Steph and Shelley, all I can say is: THANK YOU!

It is a unique setting in that all of us living here are either patients or caregivers, here in Seattle to receive either bone marrow transplants, stem cell transplants, or cord transplants. When you meet new people, it's "caregiver or patient?", "what's your diagnosis?, "where are you from?", and "how long have you been here?" and "how much longer do you have?". It seems a little like the questions one would ask in a prison, but it's the standard introduction. I have met a few people and made some casual friendships. I am, of course, still hard to peg as the patient, as I still have hair and some energy.

I am really glad that I was able to get in here. While it seems so expensive when paying the rent, it is below market and really is a comfortable place to be. We are all kind of in this together. There is something comforting about being able to cut to the chase and talk nitty-gritty with others. Without you and your generous donations, my stay here would not have been possible. While I have met some whose insurance covers lodging and meals, mine, as you know, does not. I am ever grateful for having this safe place, literally and figuratively, as my Seattle home.

A shuttle, otherwise known as the special people bus, runs about every twenty minutes all day to and from SCCA. Eddie, the driver, is pretty cool. He also makes a twice daily run to Safeway, which by chance is just across the street from Group Health, where I must get my copious prescriptions filled (as opposed to the convenience of using the pharmacy at the Clinic). Once you ride with Eddie to the SCCA, a shuttle runs about every twenty minutes back and forth to the UW Hospital. It is wonderful to have this available and a HUGE plus to staying here.

I also have a direct line for my apartment. It is (206) 262-9041. I am gone a great deal at the Clinic, but this is a way to at least leave messages and will be available for my caregivers to use or to be contacted at.

In closing, I am going to quote some information on The Pete Gross House:

"Who was Pete Gross? As the "voice of the Seahawks", Seattle's footballl team, for 17years, Pete Gross was a mainstay in Seattle culture. Drawn by his humorous, fair, fun, and concise announcing style, Sealltle-ites were faithful listeners throughout Pete's career. Pete is best remembered for the love and enthusiasm he held for the Seattle Seahawks, his family, and the community at large.

Pete battled cancer for years. During his treatment at various cancer specialty centers around the country, Pete and his family were struck by the lack of temporary, affordable housing for cancer patients who were often far away from their homes. They also dreamed of a place that provided a supportive environment of other people who were undergoing similar challenges with cancer.

Pete's family and friends joined with a wide array of local businesses, community leaders, and The Hutch to create the Pete Gross House as a lasting memorial to this special person. Thanks to the continuing efforts of The Pete Gross Council, safe, clean, convenient, and affordable housing for SCCA patients and their caregivers is still a reality".

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