SECU Family House in Winston-Salem provides refuge for the sick

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Debbie Denton is not only her sister's best friend, she's her primary caregiver.

"I guess we're like two peas in a pod," Denton said. "When you see one, you see the other, especially during times like this."

Her sister, Donna Buchanan was diagnosed with aggressive cancer in August and gets treatment at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center multiple times a week. It's nearly two hours from their home.

"We were driving from Morganton to here, and she'd have those treatments three days in a row and it got tough on us," Denton said. "But then we found out about this place, and it was like... we can breathe again!"

They learned about the State Employees' Credit Union Family House in Winston-Salem.

Executive Director Kathy Carr says for families who live outside of Forsyth County going through the stress of a serious medical condition at one of the hospitals, the Family House is a lifeline.

"To have a place to stay that is warm and inviting and very home-like is very meaningful to these families," Carr said. "I think that is what's so neat. It's creating a community for these families who are away from their traditional family."

At $35 a night, the Family House is a safe, affordable and clean place to stay.

There are also activities offered to guests at night, such as meals prepared by volunteers, arts and crafts, live music or even a therapy dog.

"When I go get my treatment, if I don't feel good, I can come back here and rest and then when I feel better, I can get up and socialize with people," Buchanan said. "There are some wonderful people here."

Learn more about the SECU Family House here.