Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge welcome first guest to Dallas for cancer treatment – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Hope and relief for the thousands of cancer patients who come to Dallas-Fort Worth for treatment is here. The American Cancer Society have just welcomed their first patients at The Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge in Dallas.
Although her cancer journey has been long and trying, Rose Riley, 78, radiates optimism.
“I’m one of those people who will have cancer forever, it’s just a matter of keeping it intact. When it spread from my chest to other parts of my body, it was mostly in the bones.” , said Riley.
Riley lives 220 miles from her Dallas-based oncologist, whom she visits regularly. She said the cost of staying in hotel rooms adds up.
“I am looking for anything that could help me financially, whether it is a hotel or bed and breakfast.”
As the very first guest at the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge on September 14, Riley said the burden has been lifted.
“It’s amazing to me, it’s just amazing,” she said.
Providing comfort and hope is what the Jones family had in mind when they donated $ 7.5 million to make it happen.
“We have unfortunately had other family members with cancer and knowing this trip is so scary. When you first learn about it, it is overwhelming and to be able to provide this piece of comfort, just to take one thing off that list, ”said Charlotte Jones, brand manager for the Dallas Cowboys.
Hope Lodge is expected to provide over 18,000 free nights of accommodation per year. The lodge has 50 private guest suites, each with two beds and a private bathroom.
“Rose got to see it before everyone else and she got a little taste of what will be a beautiful and nurturing environment for all of these patients and caregivers who will be staying with us,” said Jeff Fehlis, executive vice president of the American Cancer Society. .
“I know no one wakes up and says, ‘I want to stay at Hope Lodge,’ but when they get the news they need, we’re happy to be there,” Jones said.
A win-win for families in the fight against cancer.
“You know what, we love our Cowboys fans walking through that door, but that’s where we all are fans,” Jones said.
Prior to donating to Hope Lodge in Dallas, the Jones family also donated $ 1 million to Hope Lodge in Houston.
The grounds of the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge were courtesy of Baylor Scott and White, although people staying at the lodge can receive cancer treatment anywhere in the area.
The American Cancer Society opened the lodge in May 2019.
“What’s so special about it, not only does it include a caregiver, but they’re also with other people on a similar journey,” Fehlis said, in an interview with NBC 5 in 2019. “They will be with other people on a similar journey. with other people facing similar challenges. The first floor is entirely shared so they can cook together, have dinner together and spend time together. “
Hope Lodge is supported 100% by philanthropy and many donors, along with the Jones family, have helped make the Dallas Lodge a reality. Other major donors included the Don and Trudy Steen Charitable Foundation, the Jeff and Carmen York Family, the Moody Foundation, the Horner Family, the JE and LE Mabee Foundation and the Shapard Family.
In 2019, NBC 5 spoke with York who donated millions of dollars to the lodge after receiving life-saving cancer treatment at BS&W’s Sammons Cancer Center.
“I hope that everyone who sets foot there comes away with more hope and more understanding that they are likely to be okay,” York said in 2019.
Over $ 32 million has been raised for this project to date, and the American Cancer Society and the Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation continue to seek philanthropic support for current operating expenses.
From the American Cancer Society: The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge program provides a free place to call home for cancer patients and their caregivers. Patients staying at a Hope Lodge must be on active cancer treatment and permanently reside more than 40 miles from their cancer treatment center. All accommodation requests must begin with a referral from the patient’s treatment facility located near the Hope Lodge community.