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      Athletes helping with heartache

      On Tuesday, Northern Michigan University athletes visited the Beacon House in Marquette to spend time with community members going through hard times.

      The track athletes helped bring laughter to the hospitality house, often filled with heartache.

      "We bring cheers," said Avadon James, a freshman in NMU. "Try to cheer them up and keep them company."

      The Beacon House is a non-profit organization opening its doors to patients and loved ones undergoing medical treatments

      "Theyâ??re going through some of the worst times they could ever go through," explained Beacon House Director Kellie Barry-Angeli.

      Since 2002, the Beacon House accommodated 150,000 guests for everything from heart surgery to cancer treatment.

      "This is a very nice place if youâ??re going through treatment," admitted Judy McEachern, a current Beacon guest.

      The visit is designed to help the guests forget those worries, but they arenâ??t the only ones benefitting from the meal.

      Northern Michigan University sophomore Megan Strait described called them "amazing people." "Just hearing their story, besides the sickness, is really awesome," she added.

      Although dinner canâ??t change why they're here, it filled guestsâ?? hearts with love and comfort.

      "Anytime you visit with someone else, it does make you forget any of the problems you have," said Beacon guest, Patricia Ramussen.

      And for these Beacon House guests, it's just what the doctor ordered to help them keep fighting another day.