STUART — Molly Sharkey filled her journals with ideas of building a dream house in her hometown while she was a teenager, but it wasn't an ordinary residency.
She wanted to build a home where families who had loved ones being treated at local hospitals could stay — an obstacle the Sharkey family faced traveling nationwide as Molly battled chronic myelocytic leukemia, a type of cancer that starts in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow, from 1986 to 1992.
Molly succumbed to the rare cancer at 18 years old in May 1992, but her family kept the dream house alive.
The not-for-profit Molly's House at 430 S.E. Osceola Street, three blocks away from Cleveland Clinic Martin North Hospital, has been open since September 1996 and has housed over 24,000 patients' families in its three-story Victorian-style home.
Sept. 23 would have been Molly's 47th birthday, and the organization is inviting Stuart residents to partake in its virtual celebration this year by sending birthday cards to be shared with the Sharkey family and read live on Facebook Sept. 25 at 12:30 p.m.
Cards can be mailed or dropped off to Molly's House until Sept. 21
Molly's House was built by contributions from the community members and businesses that donated time, money and materials to help with the project.
The 11,000-square-foot home includes:
- Two family suites
- 12 bedrooms with private baths
- Two kitchens
- A library
- A laundry room
- Two lounge areas
- Large front, back and wrap-around porches
Families pay $40 per night, per room which includes free WiFi, a laundry facility and continental breakfast. Subsidized stays are available upon request and approval.
Donations can be made online at mollyshouse.org/donate or mailed to Molly's House. Household necessities such as garbage bags, canned food or hygienic products can also be donated to help offset operational costs.
Catie Wegman is a community reporter who also produces "Ask Catie," an occasional feature to find answers to your burning questions about anything and everything — the more bizarre the better. Support her work with a TCPalm subscription. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 772-221-4211 and follow her @Catie_Wegman on Twitter and @catiewegman1 on Facebook.
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