When I started volunteering at the Gabriel House of Care a little over two years ago, I did't realize the magnitude of what it meant. Volunteering not only provides support for the House and the guests, but how it personally fulfills me every time I'm there. The staff is truly appreciative, and more importantly, how they lead through example with heartfelt compassion and respect.
Yes - the cost is manageable, the convenience and cleanliness are a real plus, the pleasant environment and comaraderie makes everyone feel at home, and the family style meals lessen some of the pressure. However, it's the total mindfulness approach to helping patients and their caregivers heal and feel as though there is some sense of normalcy. Patients and caregivers are a huge support to each other and lifelong friends are made here.
So I hope I can help at the GHOC - but actually it helps me more than I imagined.
I absolutely love volunteering at Gabriel House of Care! The guests are so wonderful and amazing what they are going through. It is nice to be able to give back in the community by helping out at this absolutely wonderful facility. They are very accomodating to everyone's schedule. The staff is wonderful, everyone is so friendly and positive. It is an amazing facility to have on the Mayo Campus for guests to be able to stay.
I have been volunteering at Gabriel House of care for over a year. I so enjoy helping to keep this wonderful place in tip top shape so that the “guest” are always comfortable and worry free about their surroundings. It is a family type facility who cares about one another. I love doing the laundry and cleaning as much as I can. It is a lovely place in which to volunteer!
I have been involved/volunteered with Gabriel House of Care before they opened their doors. Gabriel House truly touches everyone that passes through the doors it is nothing short of a miracle. My late husband was the second heart transplant done at Mayo Jacksonville and along with others dreamed of a hospitality house for transplant patients. Every time I volunteer their I feel his prescience knowing this was part of his, no our dream.
I was fortunate to begin volunteering at Gabriel House when they first opened their doors. I was looking for a place to work with people who make a difference and GHOC provided that in ways that exceeded all my expectations. The staff and volunteers are dedicated, caring, thoughtful and fill the house with great positive energy. GHOC is continually providing new programs and outlets to help reduce the stress of those who stay with us. Our guests are often traveling daunting and unknown paths and find great comfort in close connections with others on their own journeys, who welcome them and can help navigate the medical and emotional situations that are part of that new normal. It is a special place with special people.
I started volunteering at Gabriel House about 2 years ago. I usually sit at the front desk for a couple evenings a month to greet guests, answer questions, etc. Occasionally I have helped with dinners. My job is minimal compared to others but it is a great time to observe what is going on around me. First of all, the staff and other volunteers are the most dedicated, understanding group of people that I have ever seen assembled in one place. Their aim of making the guests feel comfortable, understood and included is amazing. Everything revolves around making the guests feel supported during what is often an confusing and difficult time in their lives.
I spent 90 wonderful days at the Gabriel House of Care recovering from my bone marrow transplant. I met and became friends with many patients and caregivers. Words do not express how thankful I am for such a facility. It was spotless. Lorna and Carmen faithfully cleaned the facility, hallways, and kitchen. Valerie kept caregivers on their toes with recyclables. Many different organizations provided nourishing meals. The comradery flourished and provided uplifting spirits and support through laughter and shared conversations with the patients and caregivers. While I live only 50 minutes away, the ease of the shuttle service took the frustration of driving I 95 away. The staff were friendly and courteous and had many helpful suggestions for restaurants. The activities were educational and uplifting. Visitors were welcome. I would gladly recommend the Gabriel House of Care to any transplant patient. Best wishes for many years to come,
David Toth, St. Augustine
My husband was isolated in a Mayo Clinic hospital room for over 40 days in the spring of 2015. He received intensive treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and I was able to be with him every day because of Gabriel House. Our home was almost two hours away, so commuting was not an option. Gabriel House gave me safe shelter, a full kitchen, laundry facilities, compassionate companionship, and easy access to the hospital -- all in an incredibly beautiful facility at an amazingly reasonable rate. How grateful I will always be to Gabriel House for welcoming me during a time of great personal crisis. It is an exceptional facility.
St. Simons Island, GA
Gabriel House is a first class facility providing top notch compassionate care to newly accepted Mayo patients awaiting organ transplant and further diagnosis as they get on the road to recovery. The hospital and mature professional Gabriel staff provide the ultimate in providing first class lodging, quiet get well atmosphere, athletic room to strengthen one's body before and after sickness. The Director of the Gabriel House is intimately aware of all patients needs and critical issues and she provides the requisite logistics to accommodate a multiude of medical related problems. The overall atmosphere is one of peace and tranquility and all patients learn to appreciate each others challenges as they individually learn to cope with their own obstacles before and after recovery. Empathy, compassion and hope is what the Gabriel House is all about.
The Gabriel House of Care, a home for transplant (and cancer) patients and their caregivers. I am a caregiver for my wife Karin who has undergone liver cancer treatment, two liver transplants and one kidney transplant. As my life changed from working 12 hour days for the U.S. Government, I had to adapt to a 24/7 hands on new experience to care for my Karin. The Gabriel House provided the healing atmosphere and all the essential living conditions and housing accommodation to enable me to focus on Karin's Mayo Clinicl meetings, appointments, lab visitations and medical consults and most importantly convalescing.. The Gabriel House is on the Mayo campus, the House is a secure wellness facility with scheduled transportation for the caregiver and patient to utilize for all appointments. The leadership of the Gabriel House directed by Valerie Callahan is top notch. Valerie and her staff are knowledgeable, compassionate and sensitive to all the illnesses of patients. Trained volunteers provide a wonderful support for all matters from front desk, kitchen assistance, laundry, supply room and eagerly provide overall guidance for any kind of question or problem. The facility also has a professional gym workout room, an office for internet, copying machine, meeting room and a room for prayer and meditation. The facility grounds are one of a kind, flowers, gorgeous trees and lake for resting, walking and meditation, as a caregiver I needed all the space Gabriel provides to relieve the stress and attempt to understand my new role and mission in life. Today, as my caregiving continues from home I feel very confident that my wife's future appointments at the Mayo Clinic will be made more pleasant and enjoyable with a stay at the Gabriel House.
In 2015 my husband had to come down to Mayo in Jacksonville, Fl for stem cell harvesting for future use do to cancer. The Gabriel House of care was recommended due to the early hours he would have to arrive for his appointments. The staff at Gabriel was friendly, helpful and went above and beyond to ensure the comfort of my husband and also of me as his caregiver. The facility was kept clean and enjoyable programs were offered. It helped to be at a place where patients and caregivers could share their experiences with each other. We still keep in touch with people we met at Gabriel . The various churches and other organizations bringing in food and dessert was a lifeline after being at the hospital all day. All we can say is "Thank God for Gabriel House and its dedicated staff"
My husband had a kidney transplant in 2014 and we had the blessed opportunity to stay at GHoC. The hospital Doctors and Staff at MAYO Clinic were wonderful and then when we moved into the GHoC for the next month it was truly a blessing and such a beautiful house. It made being away from home not so hard. The staff from Mrs. Valerie Callahan, the office staff, volunteers at the front desk, house cleaning, the many organizations that brought delicious meals and even the entertainment on occasion was all such a blessing. The rooms are always top notch and super clean. Beautiful grounds surround the house for walking early morning or late afternoon with inviting porches on the front and back. I have always said on our return trips there that if I ever have the opportunity to live close enough to volunteer at GHoC after I retire I would definitely jump at the chance. To be a part of a family that continues to give back to the residents there would truly be a blessing to me. I always enjoy returning when we visit and donate books, or a nights stay when possible for someone else that just needs a little encouragement to know that others around them care. I would definitely say this place is a 5 STAR, from the people as well as the facility.
Many many thank you's for all you do for all of us continually.
We were very fortunate and extremely blessed to have been able to stay at Gabriel House from late December, 2016 through Early February, 2017 while my wife, Paulette, underwent some grueling concurrent chemotherapy and daily radiation therapy for oral cancer. For most of the stay, she was unable to eat and was on a PEG feeding tube for nourishment. The staff at Gabriel House, from Director Valerie Callahan on down the line were amazing. They were ALL very gracious and caring beyond belief. They accommodated our special needs and made sure we were doing as well as possible given the circumstances. The facilities at Gabriel House are impeccably clean, sanitary, and well-maintained thanks to a wonderful housekeeping and support staff. The huge kitchen, and food storage areas (both refrigerator and pantry) for each of the patients and their caretakers was a big bonus in helping us keep our lives as normal as possible during an extremely difficult and stressful period. The daily shuttle service to and from the Mayo Clinic was so helpful. We used it pretty much every day during our stay. The groups that brought in meals were a Godsend to all of us who were there. We met so many nice people, all going through their own difficult journey, and the set-up at Gabriel House encouraged us to interact with each other, commisserate with one another, and share our triumphs and happier moments as well. We kept in touch with several of them long after our stay was over.
I’m sure there are similar facilities for patient/caregiver lodging at other hospitals in the country, but I cannot possibly imagine any that could be as good as Gabriel House. We are eternally thankful for everyone there. They will always be in our prayers.
Paulette & Mark Walz
On Halloween 2016, my ENT doctor (dressed as a Ninja Turtle Warrior), told me my biopsy revealed CANCER! Stage Four nasopharyngeal cancer.
And then, not at a turtle's pace, my life spun out of control! So many decisions to make regarding something to which I had no knowledge.
I'm a person who researches all options before making a decision. Not an easy project when it comes to how to survive cancer. So many different kinds of cancer, so many treatment options! Mind boggling!
The one decision that was clear to me as soon as I found out about THE GABRIEL HOUSE, was it's where I needed to be to get me through the grueling radiation treatments required in an unfamiliar town!
My caregiver and I made Gabriel House our home for eight weeks. Before I became too ill to participate, I enjoyed the art and meditation classes, and the peaceful setting snuggled under lush pines and vegetation next to the ever entertaining pond. And, the well-equipped shared kitchen was an unexpectedly delightful experience. So clean and organized. So generous: healthy snacks and treats available, and all those wonderful meals prepared by local non-profit organizations and restaurants!! Ahhhhmazing! Such a comfort.
Though not long into my journey, I could no longer swallow and had to miss out on some incredible-looking meals, my caregiver was spoiled and loved it!
The staff was so accommodating. Not hovering, just available if you needed them. Kind, compassionate and caring about your needs.
Meeting other people in all modes of health crises was helpful. Friendships get formed during this crucial time.
I spent a lot of time in that comfortable bed that felt like I was in a Hampton Inn! As sick as I was, I felt pampered.
I'm so very grateful for the Gabriel House: all of it's staff, donors, and affiliated organizations that make it possible for people going through life threatening crises to have a place they can relax and recouperate as they endure life altering treatments.
My recovery seems slower than a turtle's crawl (and as a Sea Turtle Scout for over a decade, I know first-hand, they really are slow!)... however certain moments of my recovery I will cherish (and many I try to forget). Gabriel House is a good memory.
Thank you for offering me affordable shelter in the storm ...to receive life-saving cancer treatment not offered in my home town!
In 2008 I had my first evaluation at Mayo Clinic. Due to Hep C i needed a liver transplant . We, my husband and I, were lucky to be able to stay at the Lighthouse. There were 4 rooms for people needing transplants. Director Ed .... was determined to find a bigger place for people needing transplant. Eventually after negotiations with the Mayo Clinic the Gabriel House of Care was build. Although Ed retired soon after, a capable neu director was found. Valerie Callahan. She and her staff have been doing a remarkable job. Since the opening I've been a guest at GHoC multiple times. I've had complications, needed dialysis, had another liver transplant and kidney transplant. My husband and I had great support from the staff. But let's not forget all the volunteers, the many Organisationen, that have been helping the sick and their care givers, by providing dinners, entertainment (music) during the week and on holidays. There have been cooking classes, yoga and meditation classes for all the guests and as far as I know, many more.
So, once again, thanks to Mrs Callahan, her staff and the Volunteers and all the organizations trying to making life more comfortable for the patients/guests at Gabriel House of Care.
A very grateful thank you from me (Karin Delagi) and my awesome husband (Dan Bates), not to forget my son Ronald.
When my husband had an emergency operation in the Mayo Clinic Hospital in a Jacksonville, I stayed at the Gabriel House of Care. While my husband was in the hospital for 8 weeks, it was such a relief to stay at a safe, comfortable place with so many caring people. I thank God for their ministry.
We were fortunate to have been accepted for lodging at Gabriel House during my wife's radiation and chemo treatments for tongue cancer from 12/16-02/17 at the Mayo Clinic. It was truly a blessing for us. It would have been impossible for us to have successfully completed her cancer treatments were it not for Gabriel House. The staff was truly wonderful and genuinely caring, and concerned about our welfare and needs. The rooms (and other facilities) were pristine and immaculately clean, a testament to the great job by the housekeeping staff. We we served many wonderful meals during our stay, and when my wife could no longer take oral nourishment and relied on tube feeding, their facilities were geared to accommodate her special needs and requirements. We met, associated, and sometimes commiserated with other patients and caregivers, a couple of whom became close friends with whom we still keep our n touch regularly. We are eternally grateful to the staff at Gabriel House, and to the individuals and organizations that support its mission. Our thanks to Valerie, Carmen, Lisa, Dave & Judy, Dr. John Casler, and the rest of the "angels" involved with our stay. May God bless you all for everything you did for us, and continue to do for others. The Walz's
I have been volunteering at the Gabriel House of Care for over two years. As a newly retired resident of Florida, one of the first things I wanted to find in my new area was a place to volunteer. As soon as I walked into the house, and met with the great staff as well as other volunteers, I knew that this was the place for me! The staff is one of the most compassionate and caring group of folks that I have worked with, and the guests that stay at the Gabriel House rely on them for so many things. Everyone has a smile on their face, and I know that both the guests that are here for treatment, as well as their caregivers, find relief and are very grateful for everything, and everyone, involved with the Gabriel House of Care.
I cannot say enough good things about the Gabriel House of Care. From their director to their volunteers, this organization has a true heart for helping patients and families that are facing some of the most difficult, most frightening time in their lives. I have had the pleasure to refer patients to this organization as well as to visit some of my patients who tell me over and over again about their positive experiences. This organization has taken the time to study the needs of the population that they serve and to put things in place that are helpful in many ways. Our patient's and caregivers feel the love and support that they are provided while staying at Gabriel House of Care and I will definitely continue to show my support for this organization through referring families in need to them.
I first discovered Gabriel House of Care in Jacksonville when I moved to Beaches in 2015 and was looking for volunteer opportunities. I immediately fell in love with Gabriel House and it's mission of compassion, Camaraderie and Community to patients and caregivers of organ transplant and cancer treatment. My husband had a liver transplant in NYC Feb. '12. There was and is nothing like this there. As a spouse /caregiver of a transplant patient I know what it takes out of you both physically and emotionally. Gabriel House offers complimentary classes through it's Integrative Therapy Program that give both the patient and the caregiver the tools and support needed to help with the journey. These classes include Tia Chi, yoga, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Nutritional Cooking Classes, and Art Therapy. I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to turn my volunteer work into a staff position . I am now the Development Officer and get to go out into the community to share all the amazing things that are happening here. I love being part of the team of gifted, special volunteers and coworkers that help to make Gabriel House of Care the Great place it is!
My name is Linda Tucker I was diagnosed with breast cancer August 22,2014. I. My husband Damon and I were devastated . We are from wv so we came to the mayo clinic in September 2014 I had surgery and was referred to the gaberial house . We were so thankful for the kindness we were showed .we stayed there while I recovered from surgery and radiation . I was then told I needed to have chemotherpy. So we stayed at the gaberial house each time we came to the mayo . We met so many friends while we were they that are friends for life . We loved staying at the gaberial house it was a oasis for us while I went through surgery chemo and radiation we will forever be grateful for all the love they showed us while we were there and every time we return for follow up test