Dick Vogel (posthumous), Kathy’s House

    When Kathy Kuettner, a wife and mother of three, was diagnosed in 1999 with Burkitt’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and even a bone marrow transplant at Froedtert Hospital.

    Throughout her treatment, many friends and family surrounded her, including her parents, Dick and Judy Vogel.

    Even during her battle, Kuettner had the compassion to realize not every patient in the hospital was so lucky. Many patients traveled long distances to receive treatment, and friends and family did not have a place in the area that they could stay to be with them.

    Kuettner lost her battle with cancer in 2000, but before she passed away she expressed a wish to her father that a hospitality house be established where patients of all ages and their families could stay.

    Vogel worked closely with the medical community and a network of corporate and individual donors and in 2001, just one year after his daughter’s passing, Kathy’s House opened in Wauwatosa.

    Vogel served as executive director of the organization until 2012. Vogel passed away on Thursday, November 13 at the age of 83.

    “Dick was known for his passion and for coalescing a strong network of partnerships to get things done,” said Patty Metropulos, executive director and chief executive officer of Kathy’s House. “His vision and passion has got the organization to where it is today.”

    The center has served more than 6,000 families and operates primarily with the help of more than 300 volunteers.
    Kathy’s House has 18 guest suites, a kitchen, community gardens and walking paths, and common areas including a fitness center, computer center, library and game room.

    Patients receiving treatment at any area hospital can stay at Kathy’s House. The house does not charge a rate, but asks guests to make an in-kind donation if they are able, she said.

    “We strive to provide an at-home environment for our guests,” Metropulos said. “Many of the patients who stay with us are already dealing with serious medical issues. Our goal is to make their stay here as comfortable and as worry-free as possible.”

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