Home away from home: Fishers resident opens Ada’s Place to provide free housing for families requiring long-term medical care

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Correction: A past version of this story had inaccurate dates for the Parisian Flea Market. 

The last thing families of patients requiring long-term medical care want to worry about is a place to live while their loved one receives care, sometimes in another state. That’s why Fair Haven Foundation founder Amanda Milner created Ada’s Place.

Ada’s Place is at 1702 W. 16th St. near the IU Simon Cancer Center and IU Methodist Hospital. It’s designed to temporarily house families of patients receiving long-term medical treatment near Indianapolis.

“If you’re familiar with the Ronald McDonald house, it’s very similar to that except, it serves adult patients and their families,” said Milner, a Fishers resident. “A family that needs to come to Ada’s Place are those that travel to Indianapolis, typically for treatment at a downtown medical center. What we provide for them is like a home-away-from-home that’s very close to the Simon Cancer Center and IU Methodist Hospital.”

Ada’s Place has 12 guest suites that can host up to 12 families with overnight lodging.

Ada’s Place has 12 rooms for families requiring of patents who require long-term medical care in Indianapolis. (Photo courtesy of Porch Light Public Relations and Marketing)

“Each family has a private room with a private bathroom and kitchenette in their room,” Milner said. “We really try to make it so that everything they need is there, so they don’t have to worry about bringing things with them. It gives them a chance to have one less thing to worry about so they can focus on what they need to do to help their loved one get better.”

Ada’s Place joins Fair Haven Foundation’s apartment program, which has operated since 2007 and is designed for longer stays. The average apartment stay is six weeks, whereas Ada’s Place is designed for overnight stays of up to seven days.

“It depends on the course of treatment, but we work with hospital social workers who make referrals for families to stay there,” Milner said. “As long as the physician wants them to be here in Indianapolis, they’re allowed to stay.”

Dorine and Greg Culver stayed at a Fair Haven Foundation apartment in August 2012 while Greg received treatment for leukemia. (Photo courtesy of Dorine Culver)

Families can stay free of charge. Ada’s Place also will be able to temporarily house families that are waiting for an apartment through Fair Haven for longer stays.

Fair Haven Foundation was a saving grace for Dorine Culver and her husband, Greg, when Greg received treatment for leukemia. Although Greg succumbed to his battle in June 2014, Culver still remembers the kindness of Fair Haven staff.

Greg was diagnosed with leukemia in May 2012. In August 2012, he was at IU Methodist Hospital for a stem cell transplant.

“They like the patients to come back every day or every other day to get blood and check vitals and everything, but we lived two hours north in Fort Wayne,” said Culver, 57, who now lives in Noblesville. “They provided information about Fair Haven and a place to stay, because otherwise we would have had to have gotten a hotel. We were looking to be (in Indianapolis) for a few months, so Fair Haven was a godsend. We were able to get in and get a unit, and they provided everything. It was way above and beyond what I expected.”

Culver said Fair Haven made the apartment comfortable for Greg, and they provided books and movies to pass the time.

“They just were there for every need anyone could ever think of,” Culver said. “Since I’ve lost my husband, I’ve stayed in contact with Fair Haven and donated. You’re going through enough as it is with your loved one going through what they’re going through.”

Milner also battled cancer. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2001, which ultimately led to her decision to found Fair Haven. She was working as a medical technologist with the IU Simon Cancer Center in the bone marrow transplant program before her diagnosis.

“I took a couple years away from work when my kids were born, and then during that time, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” she said. “It was a tough time to be diagnosed.”

Milner was recently divorced at the time with two children ages 2 and 1. She said she struggled with things like how to make mortgage payments, who would watch her children when she received treatment and how to even get to her treatments.

“I saw God take care of me in so many ways with lots of family and friends,” she said. “He provided friends to drive me to treatment and help me with my kids or a place to live. Really, Fair Haven was a way to give back to patients and families. A lot of families at the Simon Cancer Center travel here from all over the state and all over the country, and they were needing some of the same things I felt like I was blessed with. That’s what Fair Haven offers for families.”

For more, visit fairhavenfoundation.org.

Parisian Flea Market fundraiser

Fair Haven Foundation’s ninth annual fundraiser is the Parisian Flea Market, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9 at the building that formerly housed Kincaid’s, 14159 Clay Terrace Blvd., Carmel.

The Parisian Flea Market is a shopping event inspired by eclectic flea markets in Paris. It features hand-selected items like mirrors, chandeliers, dishware, home accessories, furniture, estate jewelry, art and other gift items.

“Really, it’s an amazing sale, a market where we have a committee who works all year long on collecting gently used (items), and they’re very selective, so it’s a really nice, unique collection of those things, and it’s priced really well,” Fair Haven Foundation founder Amanda Milner said. “People look forward to it all year long.”

The fundraising goal is $100,000. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online or at the door. Children under 16 are free. For more, visit fairhavenfoundation.org.


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