There are 50 hotels across Iowa taking part in a program that provides complimentary lodging for cancer patients who are forced to travel far away from their homes to receive treatment.
Kelly Angell, oversees the program for the Iowa chapter of the American Cancer Society. “These hotels have taken such great care of our cancer patients, not only to provide them with that complimentary lodging, but to really be that home-away-from-home when they’re going through one of the scariest things of their life,” Angell said. “In 2016, we were able to help 80 patients across the state of Iowa traveling for their cancer treatment. They were helped with about 413 nights of complimentary lodging. We saved a lot of people a lot of money so they could use that for their medical bills, for family, and just for daily life.”
An event scheduled for this afternoon (4:30pm) in Des Moines will honor the 19 hotels in Iowa’s capital city that are involved in the ACS Hotel Partners Program. The Des Moines area hotels account for roughly 90-percent of the lodging provided through the program in Iowa.
“That’s partially thanks to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge being in Iowa City,” Angell explained. “We provide free lodging for patients undergoing active treatment there, but in Des Moines, we don’t really have a resource like that. So, these 19 partners in the Greater Des Moines area – they are the help patients rely on.”
Nationwide, there are more than 1,600 hotel partners providing cancer patients with lodging.