One of the recipients benefiting from this year’s Vets Rock event is Fisher House of Boston, which provides a home away from home for people like Kevin Reichler, whose wife Linda fought a courageous battle with cancer.
“Linda was recruited into the U.S. Air Force with a great opportunity as a dentist,” Kevin explained of her time in the service.
She served active duty for four years, followed by 13 years in the reserves. She lived a vibrant life alongside her husband of almost three decades.
“Linda was beautiful, loving, incredible,” Kevin described.
But on December 10, 2015, the couple received devastating news: Linda had leukemia
“The earth dropped out from our feet,” Kevin recalled.
Linda’s treatment involved five months of chemotherapy at a hospital in Boston, but as residents of Avon, the drive was wearing.
“It was becoming extremely stressful,” Kevin explained.
After learning about Fisher House of Boston, the couple turned to the organization for help.
“We believe a family’s love is the best medicine,” explained Jen DeLuca, executive director of Fisher House of Boston.
Veterans who are treated at a va hospital, can stay with their families at the actual Fisher House.
“The house itself sits on the VA property in West Roxbury is a $6 million home.” DeLuca said.
But for those who aren’t getting treatment at the VA, Fisher House of Boston also offers a hotel program.
“We place families in hotels following the same model of the fisher house,” DeLuca explained. “It’s a five star and you are walking distance to your loved one.”
The Reichlers were housed in a hotel for 200 nights at no cost.
“It was a tremendous burden lifted,” Kevin said.
“We run solely on donations,” DeLuca explained. “We receive no government funding, and it’s just through our communities and organizations and events like Vets Rock that enable us to be able to continue to take care of our greatest national treasures.”
After a bone marrow transplant, Linda was told she’d be heading home.
“Both of us with shaved heads, everything was as planned,” Kevin recalled.
But after being discharged, Linda’s condition deteriorated. She lost her battle on August 26 of 2016.
“I along with my daughter and three week old grandson let her go,” Kevin said.
But thanks to Fisher House of Boston, Kevin was able to keep his final promise to his wife.
“I made a commitment that I was going to be at her side whatever it took,” Kevin explained.
Since Fisher House of Boston’s hotel program was created four years ago, it’s offered 5,600 nights of lodging to military families and saved them over a million dollars. To learn more about Vets Rock, visit MoheganSun.com.