Cancer patients find help & hope while seeking treatment far from home

CW39
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HOUSTON -- Every year more than 127,000 cancer patients travel to Houston seeking life-saving cancer treatment.  Patients can spend up to $11,000 on lodging and transportation before taxes, meals and local transportation.

Helping these patients find some hope when far away from home is The American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society has started the Hope Lodge program. It provides free lodging for cancer patients and their caregivers traveling out of town for treatment, alleviating the financial burden of paying for accommodations and providing a community for those facing a cancer diagnosis. The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge is breaking ground Tuesday off of Ardmore Steet, in Houston.

CW39's Maggie Flecknoe sat down with the Campaign Director, Sandy Biggers and a cancer survivor Zach Jurgensen who had to travel from Oklahoma to seek treatment.

The $30 million facility will be the largest in the nation with 64 patient suites offering 23,000 nights of free lodging, saving cancer patients more than $3 million annually in lodging expenses.

Fostering a home-like environment, the Hope Lodge community provides comfortable, private suites/rooms so guests can focus on what is important – getting well.  The facility will offer a community dining room, kitchen, family room, library and laundry facilities.  A wide variety of programs and services offering information, resources and support to ease the cancer journey will also be available.

The Hope Lodge program was established in 1970, and has historically served adult cancer patients. Recent research shows that 50% of childhood cancer cases occur between the ages of 12 to 18.  In an effort to better serve this younger demographic, and meet the increasing need for lodging, the Society has lowered the age requirements for Houston’s Hope Lodge to 12 years-old.

At the end of 2015, The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation gave a $10 million one-to-one challenge grant to help build and fund an operating endowment.There is still $6.7 million left to complete the fundraising campaign.

To make a gift, visit the website at www.cancer.org/hopelodgehouston.

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