It is rare in a community when one has the opportunity to make an impact, especially when it not only benefits the current generation, but also will leave a positive legacy for years to come. That's what makes the Davis House - a local respite for cancer patients and/or their families - so special.
A year ago, the Davis House was little more than a vision. Last week, it became a reality, as community leaders, volunteers and Davis Health System staff were on hand for the home's dedication. The concept was a simple one: provide a place in Elkins where those receiving cancer care at the hospital could stay before, during or after treatments.
Those associated with the project have said a large number of cancer patients treated at Davis Memorial Hospital come from the extended area. That means they must travel, sometimes during inclement weather or for extended periods of time, and bear the financial burden that comes with the medically necessary commute.
For some, this is beyond daunting. The monetary strain prevents them from seeking lifesaving treatment, explained Angie Arbogast, Cancer Care Center nurse navigator, during the Davis House dedication on Thursday.
"I speak with patients who refuse to drive for treatments because they cannot afford the costs associated with the trip," Arbogast said. "Some patients sleep in their cars because they cannot afford a room and cannot afford to drive back and forth."
However, she said the Davis House now will offer an alternative. Truly, it will become a beacon that beckons weary patients and their loved ones to a safe haven right here in our community. This ray of hope was born of the vision of some remarkable individuals in Randolph County.
While these visionaries are too numerous to list, we want to collectively recognize their good works. Whether they gave of their time, talents or resources - financial or otherwise - anyone who had a part in bringing the Davis House to life in this community deserves our thanks for a job well done.
The Davis House is a rare gem, indeed. So, too, are those who cared enough to not only envision such a project, but who also worked tirelessly to have it open its doors just one short year later.
The number of lives this will touch, and potentially save, will have a far-reaching impact for many years to come.