Fair Haven Foundation
Writer / Kara Kavensky
At age 30, Amanda Milner was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The timing of her diagnosis was extremely difficult as she had just become a single mom with two small children, ages 2 and 1. Without family nearby, she was not only concerned with making the mortgage payment, but also needed trusted care of her children while undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Transportation to and from the chemotherapy appointments was also a concern.
“I witnessed the hand of God in my life through my family, friends and my church who graciously supported me during that challenging time,” shares Amanda. “They dropped off meals, drove me to treatments, cared for my children and even helped provide me with a new home. It was nothing short of grace.”
After Amanda was in remission, she returned to work at Indiana University Health where she worked with bone marrow transplant patients. She saw firsthand the struggle of patients who have been given a life-threatening diagnosis.
“Indianapolis is very fortunate to have world-renowned hospitals and physicians who attract thousands of patients each year from across the country seeking treatment for cancer, organ transplants and other serious medical conditions,” states Amanda. “These patients leave their homes, their families and their jobs to come here for weeks or months of treatment. Fair Haven was inspired by these amazing individuals.”
The Fair Haven Foundation serves patients and their families by providing them with a home away from home. This truly makes it possible for seriously ill patients to get the specialized care they need and enables families to stay together when they need each other most.
“It’s a joy to me to be able to give back to others the very gifts I was once given,” shares Amanda, who serves as Founder and Executive Director of Fair Haven. “Through it all, my prayer is that those we serve will also experience God’s love and care in the midst of their own courageous journey.”
Amanda named Fair Haven after the Mediterranean island of “Fair Havens” where the Apostle Paul’s ship took refuge in the midst of a storm. This is indicative of the heart of their mission: to provide a refuge in the storm during their stay for treatment.
Fair Haven provides convenient, comfortable lodging near the hospital for families at no cost to them. All their lodging is fully furnished and stocked with everyday necessities, so families don’t have to worry about what to bring. They offer lodging at downtown apartments for patients at the IU Simon Cancer Center and IU Health’s University and Methodist Hospitals as well as southside apartments for patients at Franciscan Health. The average stay for family is about six weeks. Due to being away from home and the support of their communities, Fair Haven partners with local churches to serve their guests.
“Our volunteers offer compassionate support by delivering home-cooked meals, helping with transportation and other practical needs.”
Fair Haven is holding their annual fundraising event October 7-8 called the Parisian Flea Market. They take over space at Clay Terrace in Carmel and are filling it with home accessories including furniture, tables, chandeliers, pottery, estate jewelry and more! Tickets are $5 and kids 16 and under get in free. Visit fairhavenfoundation.com/parisian-flea-market for more information.