Tomorrow morning, the American Cancer Society will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Gertrude C. Ford Hope Lodge, a free home away from home for cancer patients who are being treated in Jackson.
More than just a roof over their heads, it’s a nurturing community that helps patients access the care they need. Each Hope Lodge community offers a supportive, homelike environment where guests can share a meal, join in the evening’s activities, or unwind in their own private room. Patients staying at a Hope Lodge must be in active cancer treatment, and permanently reside more than 40 miles or one hour away from their cancer treatment center. Each patient must be accompanied by a caregiver.
Established in 1970, the Charleston, SC Hope Lodge was the first facility of its kind in the country for cancer patients and caregivers. The concept came from Margot Freudenberg, a leader in the Charleston medical and business communities, who saw a similar facility while traveling through Australia and New Zealand with President Eisenhower’s People to People Ambassador Program. After her own family was touched by cancer, Margot was determined to establish the very first Hope Lodge community in Charleston. Now a nationwide program of the American Cancer Society, over 30 Hope Lodge facilities in the United States and Puerto Rico serve patients and caregivers from all over the world.
Actively involved in the Hope Lodge program until she was 105, Margot was the longest-serving American Cancer Society volunteer to date. Her attitude of gratitude, despite being forced from her home during the Nazi occupation of Germany, still inspires us today. Her legacy of grace, giving, and service live on through our wonderful Hope Lodge volunteers.
The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Jackson offers 32 guest rooms located near treatment centers in the area.
Each Hope Lodge community offers:
- A supportive environment for patients in cancer treatment and their caregivers
- Close proximity to local cancer treatment centers
- Private guest rooms and bathrooms
- Fully equipped community kitchens for food storage and preparation
- Gathering areas/great rooms and community dining rooms
- Free laundry rooms stocked with supplies
- Outdoor, reflection, or meditation spaces
- A library and/or resource rooms
- TVs and computer access
- Dedicated volunteers helping to ensure a comfortable stay for guests and frequently cook/provide meals
- Committed staff members providing a nurturing and safe environment for guests