Gary Pike was a bright and adventurous 18-year-old from Kennebunk, Maine. He was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 1989.
Over the next two years, Gary’s battle with the disease took him to Portland and later to Boston for treatment.
During this time, Gary witnessed the severe financial hardship and stress his family suffered as they spent many nights away from home. He watched their hotel expenses mount and saw his mother sleep many nights on the hospital room floor or in her car.
Gary did not believe families should have to suffer this way when a loved one was seriously ill. Thus the idea of Gary’s House – a place for families to come to when loved ones are seriously ill – was born.
Gary lost his battle with cancer in 1991, but the dream did not die with him. His family, friends and the Kennebunk community worked tirelessly over the next seven years to raise funds to purchase and renovate the house on State Street.
Gary’s House opened in 1998 as an affiliate of Northern Light Mercy Hospital. Since then, Gary’s House has welcomed families from all corners of Maine, across the country, and from around the world. It is a living tribute to a courageous and compassionate young man who dreamed of making life better for others.
Designed to provide many comforts of home, our bedrooms are spacious and thoughtfully decorated, and families have access to a number of community rooms, such as a kitchen, laundry room, playroom, living room, dining room, wireless access and small reading area.
All bedrooms are equipped with a television, DVD player, phone and alarm clock. Sheets and towels are also provided.
To stay at Gary’s House, our guests must have a loved one with a life-threatening or serious illness who is receiving treatment in a Portland area hospital. Room fees are $15 per night, per room. Depending on availability, Gary’s House may serve as overnight, pre-surgery lodging for patients travelling long distances for an early morning appointment or for patients returning to Portland for surgical follow up. For more information or to make a reservation, please call (207) 535-1320.
Here’s what some of our guests had to say about Gary’s House:
“Many thanks for a safe haven at a heart wrenching time. My deepest gratitude.” – Marie
“Thank you Gary for having a dream. Thank you Craig and Trudy McNeal for fulfilling that dream. Thank you Mercy Hospital for keeping it alive. Many, many thanks!” – Linda
“Thank you so much. It was a wonderful place. In such hard times, it’s a blessing to know that there’s a place you can feel safe to go to.” – Janice
“Words cannot begin to express the appreciation for the comfort and peace provided by this house. It was an honor to have been here.”