The American Cancer Society held a private grand opening ceremony Tuesday for the new lodge in Iowa City where cancer patients can stay while getting treatment. Iowa American Cancer Society vice president, Gretchen Tegler, says the "Russel and Ann Gerdin Hope Lodge" will start hosting patients on October 1st.
Tegler says it’s a 29-room facility where cancer patients and their caregivers can stay for free while traveling long distances for treatment. She says the facility provides not only lodging, but a whole emotional support system that allows them to focus on fighting the cancer. Tegler says the lodge has been in the works for four-years.
Tegler says they had an eight-million dollar goal to cover building the lodge and the ongoing operation. She says they’ve raised all but $500,000 dollars of their goal — with donations coming in every day. Tegler says the lodge will help hundreds of people facing some of the toughest moments in their lives.
Tegler says they project seeing some 400 people every year taking advantage of the facility based on the things they’ve learned from the 27 other lodges across the country. Tegler says you can call 1-800-ACS-2345 to find out more about the lodge, or to donate. Or you can go on-line to the American Cancer Society website.