More than 2,000 people call it home each year – and more than a few of them say it’s been a literal lifesaver.

It’s the SECU Family House on Old Mason Farm Road, with 40 rooms to house out-of-town patients (and their families) receiving treatment at UNC Hospitals. It housed 2,271 people in the last fiscal year, all of them coming in from at least 40 miles away.

SECU Family House 2015 - Interior

It costs about $82 each night to operate a room – but with the help of donations from generous organizations and community members, the Family House is able to charge families only $35 per night, far less than the cost of a hotel. (The Family House operates on a pay-what-you-can model, so some families pay even less.)

Sondra Komada of the SECU Family House stopped by WCHL and spoke with Aaron Keck – joined by Kara Ross of Jacksonville and her mother Kris Murtagh. Ross and Murtagh are staying at the house – Murtagh coming all the way from Pennsylvania – while Ross is undergoing cancer treatment at UNC.


The Family House is currently raising funds through the “40 in 40 Challenge”: through December 1, every dollar raised up to $40,000 will be matched by another donor, for a total of up to $80,000.

For more information on the SECU Family House – and how you can become a volunteer or donor – visit