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The home away from home--Hope Lodge will include a large kitchen and several public areas to encourage new friendships and camaraderie.
Twin Cities Hope Lodge
University of Minnesota building a place of comfort and healing for adult cancer patients
June 20, 2006
Imagine you've been diagnosed with cancer. You live in a small Minnesota town, and your doctor tells you that the best place to receive cancer treatment is at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis--hours away from home. In addition, your treatment will take weeks. How will you manage the trip? And how will you pay for an extended visit?
Unfortunately, many adults facing cancer find themselves in this situation. Each year, hundreds of patients and their families travel great distances to receive cancer care in the Twin Cities.
"The number of cancer patients receiving outpatient treatment is now nearly 80 percent of all cancer treatments performed," says Seymour Levitt, M.D., a radiation oncologist with the University and honorary chair of the Hope Lodge project. "And, while cancer treatment has improved, the number of patients who require treatment over an extended period of time is increasing," he explains. These out-of town guests often stay for weeks. The physical and emotional toll during these times is tremendous, and worries about lodging costs and transportation only add to the burden.
That's why the Cancer Center is joining the American Cancer Society and the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview in an effort to build a Hope Lodge near the University's medical campus.
The Twin Cities Hope Lodge will provide a home away from home for up to 40 adult cancer patients and their caregivers each night--all just a few blocks from the University of Minnesota's renowned cancer treatment clinics and close to all major Twin Cities freeways.
But the facility is designed to be more than a hotel. It will be more like a residence, where guests can build camaraderie with other cancer patients and focus on getting well.
The Hope Lodge will include:
- Private guest rooms that comfortably accommodate a patient and one family member, friend, or caregiver
- A great room and a large, fully equipped kitchen
- Rest areas and living rooms for those who need rest after treatment
- Laundry facilities
- A cancer resource library, computer and media room, and recreation and fitness room
And it will all be free of charge to adults receiving cancer treatments in the Twin Cities.
"This will truly be a wonderful place for our patients to rest, heal, and rejuvenate," says John Kersey, M.D., director of the University of Minnesota Cancer Center. "Its location and design alone will reduce the inconvenience and emotional strain many feel during their treatment period. And the fact that it's free to qualified patients will lift an economic burden as well."
Right now, the Twin Cities Hope Lodge exists only on blueprints. The site--at 2500 University Ave. S.E.--has been cleared for construction. The U is now looking for the last $500,000 to complete this multimillion-dollar project, and, if all goes according to plan, the Twin Cities Hope Lodge will be ready before the end of 2007.