Hope lodges help cancer patients and caregivers

These lodges have been around since 1970

NEW YORK (CNN) – When battling cancer, patients often have to travel hundreds of miles to get the proper treatment.

Finding a place to stay during treatment can be stressful and costly.

That’s why the American Cancer Society funds hope lodges across the country, a home away from home for cancer patients.

“The hope lodge is a place where people can call home while they are traveling outside the city to come to Atlanta and get treatments,” said Danny Shletz, Director of Hope Lodge.

All of the lodges offer their guests a range of amenities, like here in Atlanta. While it’s absolutely free to guests to use the lodge, they need to bring a caregiver. Also, there are some responsibilities that go along with the stay.

“All of the guests have chores. We believe that helps with the environment you’re going to have chores at home so why not have them here,” said Danny Shletz.

There are 31 locations that have hope lodges and each has a small staff and a group of dedicated and trained volunteers

But the real value of these places can’t be measured

“The best thing about the hope lodge is we get to see lives transformed with hope.  Brick and mortar is just brick and mortar but when you see a transformed heart because of the emotional support that we’re able to give. I think that’s what makes my job the best job in the whole wide world,” said Danny Shletz.

These lodges have been around since 1970 and in 2013 they supported almost 43 thousand patients and caregivers saving families an estimated 38 million in lodging costs.

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