Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/12/17
From Staff Report
Hundreds of supporters of lacrosse and the fight against blood cancer poured through the new 7-bedroom Nick’s House, which was unveiled Monday night in a special ceremony by the HEADstrong Foundation.
The Philly-based non-profit organization cut the ribbon and officially opened the 7,000-sq. ft. fully refurbished, 12-room Nick’s House in Swarthmore (200 S. Chester Road, Swarthmore, PA).
Nick’s House Swarthmore offers 2,555 complimentary nights of comfort, support and respite annually for families displaced to the Greater Philadelphia Region seeking comprehensive cancer care and potentially lifesaving clinical trials. HEADstrong President Cheryl Colleluori said the dwelling could save families up to $1.25 million per year in hotel/living costs while their loved ones are being treated for blood cancer. She believes in less than 4 weeks the first family will be the first to stay.
Congratulations to Cheryl Colleluori and everyone at the Headstrong Foundation for opening Nick's House! @HEADstrongFnd https://t.co/ZRWrLS8Cky
— Preston & Steve Show (@PrestonSteve933) December 11, 2017
Nick’s House Swarthmore is the only cancer-specific, extended-stay guest family home serving Greater Philadelphia. The home can comfortably support seven patients and their caregivers, simultaneously, and is as a great compliment to the oncological landscape of the Greater Philadelphia Region.
HEADstrong plans to immediately begin welcoming patients, caregivers and their families, approximately one year since Swarthmore Borough’s historic accommodation to transform the 110-year-old home for HEADstrong’s unique purposes. The home has since undergone a full renovation led by Target Building Construction to meet the unique needs of patients and their families.
“Nick’s House serves as a symbol of hope, strength, and love for families and we embrace them with open arms as they come to our region in search of a cure,” said Colleluori. “It will be a beacon of light for families in their darkest days, and we wish to thank the Swarthmore community for embracing us.”
We were touched + inspired by last night's celebration of the opening of @HEADstrongFnd's second Nick's House – a labor of love that is sure to make a true difference for those fighting #cancer. Congratulations! #4Nick #BeRelentless #HEADStrongHelps pic.twitter.com/CWERRw2f75
— MKBattorneys (@mkbattorneys) December 12, 2017
Each month, more than 200 families travel to the Greater Philadelphia Region seeking cancer-related treatment. The availability of Nick’s House can be the deciding factor for patients and families being able to pursue leading-edge therapies or deciding against continued treatment because of financial or family circumstances. With an average guest family stay of six weeks, Nick’s House will relieve each family of more than $10,000 in out of pocket expenses and will serve as a great compliment to the medical landscape of the region.
“This project has rallied our community and united so many who have been affected by this disease,” added Colleluori. “We find ourselves beyond words at times as we witnessed unconditional love, camaraderie, and positivity among those involved in restoring this beautiful property to honor the memory our son and brother, Nick, who continues to inspire us.”
“While Nick is deeply missed, we are overcome with emotion in seeing his vision take flight,” added Colleluori. “We wish to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to everyone who has contributed to this milestone. Nick, this is for you.”
Nick’s House also features three full-size bathrooms, a state-of-the-art kitchen, a serving area, dining room, and common areas for residing families to provide comfort to each other. Each room is equipped with a small refrigerator, cable, WiFi and cell phone access. The floors were restored to their original look, and new banisters have been installed.
For families with mobility issues, a platform lift, special parking spaces, an ADA bathroom and an elevator were added to the house. Outside of the home, the grounds haven been beautifully landscaped and manicured, a courtyard for families and an inviting wrap-around porch with its original columns, lighting has been created complete with rocking chairs to further comfort their guests.
The opening of Nick’s House would not be possible without the unyielding support of the elected officials of Swarthmore, Delaware County and the State of Pennsylvania. Over the past year, HEADstrong alongside a dedicated team of construction partners has transformed the sprawling corner property at the intersection of South Chester Road and Harvard Avenue into a beautiful guest residence for families.
Colleluori’s inspirational story and the organization’s mission ignited a spark with Target Building Construction and rallied Delaware County and Philadelphia businesses, skilled labor unions and manufacturers including: AAA Hellenic Marble, Albert Cipolloni Jr. and Sons, American Floors, Inc., Betz, Bluestone Communications, Bonner Master Roofing, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1, Daniel Caffo Flooring, Don Conneen & Associates, Dave White, DWD Mechanical, EZ Living Concepts, Ford Brothers Electrical Company, Goebelwood Industries, Heiler Painting, IBEW 654, IBEW 98, International Union Of Painters And Allied Trades DC21, JM Welding, Kamco, the Killian Family, Knowlton Supply, Mainline Gardens, McGowan and Sons General Contracting, McMahon and Associates, Mike Caramanico, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters Local 173, Penn Fabrication, Phoenix Contracting, Ruppert Landscaping, Schreiner Tree Care, Schlage & Top Notch, Sherman Williams, Skanska, Stone Barn Flooring, Swarthmore Borough, Tague Lumber, Target Building Construction and WellBuilt Services, who generously contributed in-kind and collaborated to bring HEADStrong’s vision to life.
The HEADstrong Foundation was the vision of beloved Delaware County native, the late Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori, who at the age of 19 was terminally diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and conceptualized the HEADstrong Foundation from his hospital bed. He passed away on November 28, 2006, and his last wish was for others to benefit from his life and for his family to see the HEADstrong Foundation to fruition.
The HEADstrong mission is to improve lives affected by cancer by inspiring change for real families, helping them to navigate their cancer journey with greater dignity, clarity, normalcy, and quality of life. With an emphasis on tackling the accessibly and affordability of care, which Colleluori recognized as one of the most critically underserved areas and the one most taxing on his own family the organization was created.