Cape Cod vacation home for kids with cancer opens

FALMOUTH, Mass. — It’s the house that love built.

“So here it is, we are at Tommy’s Place,” said Tim O’Connell.

O’Connell bought the former historic Elm Arch Inn in Falmouth three years ago and restored it into Tommy’s Place, a stunning 11-bedroom vacation home for kids fighting cancer.

“It’s been a 14-year dream come true for me,” he said.

One family at a time visits the home for up to a week, free of charge, to enjoy the Cape.

And this week that dream became reality.

“Every door they opened was amazing. It was like Christmas morning,” said parent, Jarleth Waters.

The Weymouth family of 5-year-old Quinn Waters, known as The Mighty Quinn, are the very first guests at Tommy’s Place. Quinn is battling brain cancer for the second time.

“Obviously, Quinn has had many great experiences, but his sister Maggie is the most affected by Quinn’s cancer, by Quinn’s relapse, so it’s been great to have both the kids here and not just in particular just for Quinn, but just for the kids, so she’s been able to experience a lot of fun with Quinn. For her it’s basically just freeing her mind of everything as well,” said Tara Waters, mother of Quinn and Maggie.

Everything has been donated to build Tommy’s Place, inside and out. “The pavement is donated, that set is donated, the ping-pong table. These are all donated,” O’Connell said.

Each room has a theme and it’s all about the wow factor. There’s a Boston Bruins room, a movie theater room, a room for board games, another just for games, there’s even a space room, plus one for arts and crafts and a music room that has karaoke, keyboards and guitars.

The home is special place for some very special kids to relax, make memories and most importantly, have fun.

“I talked to a gentleman last night and he said, ‘I have a question’ and I said, ‘What’s the question?’ He says, ‘My daughter said she wants to know if she can bring a friend?’ Bring a friend? I said, ‘We have 11 bedrooms. She better bring more than one friend with her,’” O’Connell said.

Another family comes Sunday. They’re hoping to keep Tommy’s Place open year-round, so they could accommodate about 50 families.

For more information on Tommy’s Place, click here.

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