More than a dozen hotels in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area are again offering a program that provides a free room to people who are traveling there to undergo cancer treatment.
Mike Lefler, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society, says it’s one less expense and one less problem for the patient.
“Once you’re diagnosed with cancer, there are a thousand things that run through your mind,” Lefler says. “One of those things may be where you will stay or how you’re going to drive 50 to 100 miles to and from treatment five days a week for a number of weeks. By utilizing a Guest Room Program like this, people have one less thing to worry about when they are battling cancer.”
He says the program provides free lodging at participating hotels for as long as a patient needs treatment, with a few guidelines.
“You have to be driving more than 50 miles one-way to your destination and you have to be in active treatment,” Lefler says. “The other thing is, if you call in and it’s a busy time for the hotels, it’s definitely based on availability.”
He says you’re not guaranteed a room but most of the time, they can find a way to accommodate you. Lefler says participating hotels donate the room, free of charge to the patient, while they receive treatment.
“They do it as a community service because most of the hotels, the general managers, the employees have all seen first-hand, whether it’s themselves or family members or friends or loved ones, that have gone through cancer and know how devastating it can be,” he says. “We’re fortunate enough to have many, many partners in the Omaha area that are willing to give free nights of lodging.”
Lefler says the service is especially helpful for those who need daily or weekly treatment over of period of months.
Learn more about the program by calling your nearest chapter of the American Cancer Society.