American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge offers hope for cancer patients

Posted at 11:27 PM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-20 23:49:44-05
It's a place where those who don't live near Baltimore can have a home away from home during their cancer treatments. The best part? It doesn't cost them a thing.
The American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge offers out of town cancer patients free lodging, meals and a caregiver.  
"It's a home away from home you get to meet interesting people," Hope Lodge client, Donna Cogley, said.
Cogley, like so many others who come to Hope Lodge are dealing with a reality many have never experienced--they're all living with cancer.
"You can relate to them with what you're going through with your cancer treatments," Cogley said.
The Lodge has 30 facilities nationwide. Every year it helps 44,000 people.
Monday night's dinner of fried rice, salad and desserts was compliments of the Johns Hopkins University American Cancer Society Relay For Life group.
"We really like to focus on community outreach. I'm actually a pediatric cancer survivor. I really value the commitment of volunteers and their contributions to making the experience of a cancer patient as comfortable as it can be, said Alexandra Capellini.
Capellini and several other students took it upon themselves to cook for the Hope Lodge residents.
"It really helps out and the food's good when you don't have to cook. I have colorectal cancer ---stage four.  Sometimes you don't feel like cooking after you do treatments you're really tired," Cogley said.
Jim Grunert is also a resident.  He hails all the way from western New York. He's living with prostate cancer but says the lodge has made all the difference
"There's no cost to stay here so I'm very grateful for that.  The secondary benefit is being under a roof with other people in the same situation," Grunert said.
Click here for more information on Hope Lodge.
Download the ABC2 News app for the iPhone, Kindle and Android