Mr. and Mrs. Cyril Garvey of Sharon, Pennsylvania were instrumental in acquiring the property located near the corner of Ellicott and High Streets in Buffalo, N.Y, now known as Kevin Guest House, as a memorial to their son Kevin who, on January 14, 1972, at the age of 13, lost his battle with cancer. During the period of Kevin's treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Garveys became aware that many other families, who were also experiencing stressful situations with loved ones undergoing cancer treatment, were unable to afford adequate housing near the hospital. Some of these families slept in their cars as a last resort!
Thus, the Garvey family's memorial to Kevin was established to provide temporary, safe refuge for patients and their families at a nominal fee. In 1972, a group of civic-minded community leaders formed a not-for-profit corporation, complete with a Board of Directors, to supervise the management of Kevin Guest House. Volunteers obtained donations of paint, wallpaper and furniture, and began renovating the main house. Through their persistence and hard work, Kevin Guest House welcomed its first guests on July 26, 1972. This hospitality has been extended to families of patients who are receiving treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo General Hospital and other area hospitals.
In cooperation with the Roswell Park bone marrow treatment unit, the four apartments adjacent to the main house were made available for that purpose. One of them is completely handicapped accessible. These guest spaces serve bone marrow patients who require separate housing due to their severely weakened immune systems. Of equal importance to the patients is the home-like atmosphere of each apartment, which truly does help to promote the physical and mental wellness of each guest.