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Utah cancer patients excited for Hope Lodge

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Cancer patients seeking treatment in Salt Lake City will soon have a refuge.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Cancer patients seeking treatment in Salt Lake City will soon have a refuge.

Hope Lodge will be a place for them to stay free of charge and connect with others.

The drive from their home in Logan to Salt Lake is one Roger Douglas and his wife knows well.
It's one they started taking frequently a year ago when his doctor gave him the news.

“He said I think you have leukemia, he could have hit me with a ball bat,” said Roger.

They wanted the best treatment. That meant many overnight trips to LDS Hospital. “He would be in the hospital for a few days, home for a few days,” said Roger’s wife Marilyn.

The Douglas' are just one of many Utah families who travel for treatment.

“Salt Lake has some of the nations premiere cancer research and treatment facilities and we have people come from all over Utah,” said Katie Eccles, chair of the Hope Lodge campaign.

So many of the patients, Eccles said, have no place to stay during treatment.

“You may go out for a treatment that lasts an hour and then for the rest of the day you go back and sit in your hotel room,” she said.

But soon-- a sanctuary. Hope Lodge, to be constructed on the downtown site of a former LDS church building, will provide a room for any cancer patient and their caregiver-- free of charge. It will feature 41 bedroom suites, common kitchen and laundry and a recreation room.

Hope Lodge will also house the American Cancer Society's quality of life programs, giving patients access to information from beauty and wigs to how to get rides to their treatments.

A lodge for cancer patients rest, learn and lean on each other.

“Something like this would be wonderful to have the support of people going through the same experience,” said Marilyn. “It would allow you to keep your life more normal while part of your life is all focused on leukemia and treatment.”

The $18 million Hope Lodge is $5 million short of its fundraising goal and $2 million short of groundbreaking this spring.

For more information on Hope Lodge, click here.

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