Housing to be offered to pediatric patients

Groundbreaking set today at former convent

October 12, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A nonprofit group is converting a former convent in Canton into housing for critically ill children from around the world who come to Baltimore for bone marrow transplants.

A groundbreaking ceremony is slated for today at the Children's House at St. Casimir, at 2712 O'Donnell St. The Believe in Tomorrow National Children's Foundation is spearheading the $900,000 project, which will provide accommodations for pediatric patients and their families.

The facility will include apartments, a rooftop deck and a "healing garden." It is expected to open in April and most of the patients will be treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which is a short drive from the facility.

Typically, the pediatric patients receive treatment over two to three months and are required to stay within 10 minutes of the hospital, said Jennifer Peterson, a spokeswoman for the children's foundation. The three adjoining rowhouses that once made up the convent were purchased by Believe in Tomorrow for $150,000 from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, according to Peterson.

The bulk of the renovation costs is being covered through the philanthropic efforts of John Erickson, the chairman of Erickson Retirement Communities, which built Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville and Oak Crest Village in Parkville.

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