Hope Lodges literally offer hope, lodging for cancer patientsThe Relay For Life demonstrates Woodbury’s commitment to making a difference in the fight against cancer.
By: Special to the Bulletin, Woodbury Bulletin
The Relay For Life demonstrates Woodbury’s commitment to making a difference in the fight against cancer.
Survivors of the disease are celebrated, caregivers are treasured, and those we’ve lost too soon are memorialized. And yes, a great deal of money is raised for the American Cancer Society. From 2004 through the upcoming 2009 event, Woodbury’s grand fundraising total will surpass $1 million.
So where does the money go? Can Woodbury residents see the tangible results of this generosity of time and money? The Hope Lodge at University of Minnesota is a perfect example.
Cancer treatment carries an emotional burden. When that treatment is found in a facility in a distant city, the burden grows, and a financial burden is added.
The American Cancer Society is making this difficult situation easier through Hope Lodges — free, temporary housing facilities for cancer patients who are undergoing treatment as well as their caregiver.
Minnesota has two Hope Lodge facilities: the Sandra J. Schulze American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Rochester and the Richard M. Schulze American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Minneapolis.
Wif Finken and Bernette Petermeier-Finken of Melrose, Minn. are recent guests at the Richard M. Schulze Family American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Minneapolis. Bernette Petermeier-Finken is fighting acute myeloid leukemia. Her husband Wif is her caregiver.
They shared their thoughts on their Hope Lodge experience.
“We were looking for a place to stay after consolidation chemotherapy for her condition,” Wif said. “When we took a tour of the facility we were in awe.”
Staying at the Hope Lodge meant not having to make the 200-mile round trip drive from Melrose to Minneapolis each day. Hope Lodge guests often acknowledge that the financial benefits are tremendous, but the supportive environment and the relationships made and nurtured by a common purpose provide the greatest benefit to cancer patients.
“We have been overwhelmed by the staff and what Hope Lodge offers, including support groups and many activities to meet others and share.” he said. “We have made so many friends as we laugh and cry together.”
Accommodations and eligibility requirements may vary by location. To learn more about Hope Lodge facilities call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
To get involved with the Relay For Life of Woodbury, call Mary LaPrairie at (651)730-4349 or e-mail email@example.com.