Located on River Road, the American Cancer Society Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge is a friendly sanctuary for people who travel to New Orleans in need of cancer treatment. A conversation with the current manager of Hope Lodge New Orleans, Ken Richmond, reveals why this organization is such a beloved fixture in the city.
Designed for people who travel to New Orleans for cancer treatment, patients from all over the United States (and as far away as Germany) have relied on Hope Lodge to make their experience more affordable and comfortable. By offering free lodging and transportation, Hope Lodge helps make treatments more attainable for many patients. Someone undergoing radiation, for instance, may require 15 minutes of treatment every day for six to eight weeks, and staying at Hope Lodge during this time could help them avoid debt. In fact, since opening in 2006, the Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge has provided 10,636 patients and caregivers over 196,000 nights of free lodging, saving $40 million in travel and lodging costs alone.
In addition to the financial aspects, the staff at Hope Lodge work to create a warm, welcoming environment. “I wish more people knew that Hope Lodge New Orleans is definitely a ‘home away from home,’” says Richmond, “and everyone treats the guests like their family or best friends when they come in.” Richmond, who began as an intern at Hope Lodge, was drawn to the organization’s mission of saving and celebrating lives impacted by cancer.
Anyone who has to travel 40 miles (or over one hour of travel time total) is welcome to stay at Hope Lodge for free while undergoing their cancer treatment. The comfortable, home-like environment invites guests to relax in a private room and bathroom, share a meal and play games with other guests in the evenings. Located close to many treatment facilities, the Hope Lodge also offers a free shuttle service to and from appointments for the guests.
Community members are welcome to help out Hope Lodge any way they can. Simply sharing information about Hope Lodge on social media is a wonderful way to help raise awareness about the organization. Volunteers are needed to serve meals, interact with patients during game night and drive a shuttle between Hope Lodge and treatment facilities. Donations of household goods are always helpful, and monetary donations are particularly important.
American Cancer Society Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge, 2609 River Road
219-2200, (800) 227-2345