Hope Lodge in Lexington a home away from home for cancer patients

Link to Hope | Volunteers back inside the Hope Lodge to help cancer patients
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 6:52 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -For people undergoing treatment for cancer there is a facility in Lexington that often becomes their home away from home.

The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge first opened in 2007 and offers thirty-two guest rooms located near treatment centers in the area.

Volunteers play a critical role in helping keep those patients and their families fed while staying at the Hope Lodge.

As Amber Philpott reports in this Link to Hope, restrictions have been lifted for volunteers and the Hope Lodge is now welcoming volunteers back to serve their residents.

The Hope Lodge in Lexington often serves as a place of refuge and when you are away from home at the holidays small touches mean the most.

The facility opens its doors, free of charge to people who are undergoing cancer treatment and need a place to stay.

“So it is a place that can feel like a home away from home. They can bring family here with them to stay with them, they can have visitors here. We try to keep them as comfortable as possible while they are going through such a hard time in their life,” said Patrick Zeff, Hope Lodge Coordinator.

Many times people travel a great distance for their treatment and the Hope Lodge becomes their landing spot.

Courtney Boyd, from Wolfe County is one of those residents.

The 23-year-old was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer, she and her sister are in Lexington for more testing.

Boyd admits it is hard being away from home.

I am a daddy’s girl and it is hard to stay away,” said Courtney Boyd.

While she waits for what she hopes will be good news about her diagnosis, Boyd and her sister say the Hope Lodge feels like home.

“I like it here, where you can come down 24 hours and everything, how they have all the kitchen items and you can cook,” said Boyd.

And that kitchen can sometimes be the heart of the Hope Lodge, where families can gather just like they would in their own home.

Food is often a comfort after a hard day of treatment and many times it’s the work of volunteers who serve it up.

“They will come in sometimes and drop off the meals, hot and ready for the guest to eat. Sometimes they will provide them frozen, and we the Hope Lodge staff will heat them up and cook them for them,” said Zeff.

Before Covid several different organizations made it their mission to come in and cook for the residents, but restrictions kept them away during the pandemic.

Those restrictions have now been lifted and the Hope Lodge is encouraging people to get involved in providing meals in person again for families.

And it’s those meals, that can often be a link to hope, one Hope Lodge Coordinator Patrick Zeff says he sees make a difference to the residents here.

“It just makes the guest so happy and really gives them that home feeling to them, of oh my gosh I’m going to have a home cooked meal for me tonight and I get to just come home from treatment and I get to eat I don’t have to worry about it,” said Zeff.

For more information on how to volunteer with the meal program with the Hope Lodge click here.

The Hope Lodge also has an Amazon wish lift on their Facebook page if you would like to donate to it.