Breast cancer treatment isn't always available near your home. When you need treatments like six weeks of radiation, the cost of lodging away from home can add up quickly. Some patients skip treatment because of the potential cost and inconvenience. But if you need to have radiation or choose to participate in a clinical trial located away from home, there are several free or discounted lodging options available for you. Hope Lodge, Joe's House, and Hospital Hospitality Houses are found all across the country near cancer treatment facilities. They offer guest rooms, support services, and sometimes help with transportation. Here are some ways to find free lodging during your cancer treatment.
Hope Lodge, American Cancer Society: 800-ACS-2345
Hope Lodge provides free lodging in a home-like environment to cancer patients who have to travel away from home for treatment. Your room will be free of charge and you don't have to show proof of financial need. At a Hope Lodge, you can stay in private guest rooms with a bathroom, and have access to shared kitchen space, laundry rooms, libraries or resource rooms. One caregiver can stay with each patient, who must be currently in treatment. Hope Lodge offers a minimum stay of three nights, with accommodation for an average of six to eight weeks. There are now 30 Hope Lodge locations across the United States, most of which require their guests to be 18 or older - check with the specific Lodge's listing to read their eligibility requirements.
Many Hope Lodge locations provide wireless internet service and sponsor space on their web servers for patients who wish to share their journey online. Some lodges also provide free shuttle service to and from your treatments. You may find support groups, educational classes, knitting circles, and exercise opportunities at your Hope Lodge. When treatments are over and time has passed, you may someday attend a reunion party at the lodge that hosted you, and have a chance to thank your hosts - as well as encourage others on their journey to health.
Joe's House, A Lodging Guide For Cancer Patients: 877-563-7468
Joe's House is your one-stop-shopping solution when looking for places to stay near your treatment center. Started in honor of Joe Warnecke and founded by Ann Warnecke Calahan, the mission of Joe's House is to help cancer patients easily find appropriate accommodations in unfamiliar cities. There are now two thousand places to stay that partner with Joe's House - many of which are either free, or offer special discounts through their web site. Participating members include: Wyndham Hotel Group, Best Western, Extended Stay Hotels, Red Roof, and Drury Hotels. You will also find several independently operated lodges and apartments.
Joe's House has done all your lodging homework for you, compiling a searchable database of hotels and other hospitable lodging near cancer treatment facilities all across America. Once you know the state in which you need lodging, you can search by medical facility or by city. Choose a lodging from the list and click on its name for a complete description of their amenities and facilities, as well as their contact information, requirements and discounts available.
National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses: 800-542-9730
The National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses - NAHHH - is a nonprofit organization that connects you with places that offer lodging to cancer patients and their families. NAHHH knows that insurance may cover your treatments, but not your lodging and daily expenses. They aim to provide family-centered lodging and support services at inexpensive rates (usually $5 to $15, or free) during your hospital visits, before and after surgery, and during repeated treatment visits. The NAHHH works to provide a "home that helps and heals" to all who need it during treatment for cancer.
NAHHH facilities can be found in most states and come in many shapes and sizes. They may be a restored Victorian-style home, a Ronald McDonald House, a Hope Lodge, one of Joe's Houses, or a Fisher House for military personnel. Hospital Hospitality Houses are run by faith-based organizations, hospital auxiliaries, private citizens, and service organizations. NAHHH want to help cancer patients reduce their healthcare costs by making sure you can stay in a healing environment at a reasonable cost during your treatment.