Kiwanis Family House

“Average” — What’s That? | Charlie Bussey

The “average” guest stays at Kiwanis Family House for about 3 days, stays only one time and we never see them again because their family medical emergency has been resolved. Other guests stay with us over and over as their  medical crisis may take longer and require one or more follow up visits or surgeries. This is the story of two of those families.


Sean lives in Texas. In March of 2015, Sean and his wife, Marilyn were visiting their son in Placerville, awaiting the arrival of their grandchild. Sean became ill and was brought to UC Davis Medical Center where he was diagnosed with two different types of leukemia. He was admitted to the hospital on March 30 and he and Marilyn were here for 207 consecutive days, almost 7 months. They finally were able to go home to Texas on October 23. But that wasn’t the end of Sean staying with us. Sean is not your “average” guest.  He has returned to Sacramento for treatment and follow-up 13 times since then. He was here once more in 2015, then 6 visits in 2016 and 7 so far in 2017. In his 14 visits, Sean has stayed with us for a total of 368 days.

Sean has told me on numerous occasions that “this place is such a Godsend. I truly don’t know what I would do if you weren’t here.”  As Sean continues his courageous fight against an insidious disease, Kiwanis Family House will be here to support and encourage him along his path back to good health.


Many of you know the story of Hector. We have told it before, but I will tell it again because it exemplifies how Kiwanis Family House helps guests.

Hector and his family live in Baja California, about 3 hours North of Cabo San Lucas. The family was in a serious car accident and Hector lost the use of his legs. He was 10 years old at the time.

 Hector and his family have driven the 1200+ miles to Sacramento on 17 different occasions. The trip takes 3 days each way because Hector can only sit up in the car for so long each day. That’s 2,400 miles and 6 days in a car on 17 different occasions, all so that Hector can get the medical treatment he needs from Shriners’ Children’s Hospital. The whole family comes up in the car, his mom, dad and little sister. They come mostly on school breaks in the spring, summer and at the holidays. This is when Dad can get time off from his job as a teacher. If it seems odd to you that the family visits the Shriners’ in Northern California, it is because Baja California is part of the territory that this hospital serves. The Shriners’ in Los Angeles serves the large population of Southern California. 

The family is scheduled to arrive today for their 18th stay at Kiwanis Family House. Hector will be 18 in December. The staff here has watched him grow up. He has become part of our large extended family and we are a part of his family. Whenever Hector comes here, he stays for more than the “average” three days. Hector and his family have stayed with us a total of 223 days over the last 7 years, staying an average of two weeks each time they come. On this stay, they are scheduled to be here for another two weeks.

Kiwanis Family House provides Hector and his family a safe, clean and dependable place to stay, one they have come to rely on over the years and call home.

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