Houston-based foundations and organizations, along with donors from across the nation, have matched a $10 million challenge grant offered by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to help build an American Cancer Society Hope Lodge facility and to fund its operating endowment.
Having access to free lodging is an essential part of beating cancer for patients who must travel to Houston to seek care. When you combine mounting medical bills and interrupted employment with the expense of hotels, meals, and local transportation, it can become overwhelming. Sadly, many patients who could be treated successfully either put off treatment until it is too late, or forego treatment altogether because they have no place to stay.
When the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation American Cancer Society Hope Lodge opens in Houston, the $30 million facility will be the largest in the United States with 64 patient suites. At full occupancy, it will provide 23,000 nights of free, temporary lodging for cancer patients and their caregivers each year.
"Reaching our goal of opening this American Cancer Society Hope Lodge is closer to becoming a reality, thanks to the generosity of partners and individuals in Houston and around the country. They have stepped up to help the thousands of patients who travel to the Texas Medical Center for life-saving cancer treatments each year," said Gary Reedy, CEO, American Cancer Society. "Without the continued contributions of community and business leaders, we are not able to provide a home away from home to cancer patients who shouldn't have to worry about where they stay while undergoing treatment."
Houston Texans owners and cancer survivors Bob McNair and his wife Janice chair the capital campaign. A donation from The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation as well as support from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center contributed to reaching this fundraising milestone. Other top donors include the Huffington Foundation, Phillips 66, CEOs Against Cancer – Gulf Coast Chapter, the Hope Lodge Houston Volunteer Leadership Council and the Women of VICTORY.
The American Cancer Society operates 32 Hope Lodge facilities throughout the US and Puerto Rico. Each Hope Lodge offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay when their treatment is far away from home. Since 1984, the American Cancer Society has provided more than 5 million nights of lodging to patients across the country.
In addition to supporting breakthrough research for more than a century, the American Cancer Society has a 24/7 year-round live helpline, offers free rides to treatment, convenes powerful activists to create awareness, and provides free lodging near treatment centers. Making the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation American Cancer Society Hope Lodge a reality will allow the Society to better serve cancer patients coming to Houston for treatment by providing a home away from home and saving them and their caregivers an estimated $3 million in lodging costs each year.