Thursday, June 27, 2002

Cancer society needs $7M to build lodge for patients

By Tim Bonfield,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The American Cancer Society will launch tonight a $7 million fund-raising campaign to build a Hope Lodge in Cincinnati to provide free housing for out-of-town cancer patients.

        Much like the Ronald McDonald House next to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the cancer society runs 18 Hope Lodges nationwide to help people who travel to get cancer treatment. Other regional Hope Lodges are located in Cleveland and Indianapolis.

        The Cincinnati project will involve renovating the old Ursuline Academy building in Avondale, which was built in 1928 at 2800 Reading Road. Architectural plans and a kick-off donation will be announced at a reception at the freshly acquired building, said Dave Myers, executive director of the cancer society's Hamilton County chapter.

        The building was recently purchased by Children's Hospital when it bought the Bethesda Oak Hospital campus from the TriHealth hospital group. Children's has agreed to provide the building to the cancer society on a low-cost, long-term lease. “We're very excited about this project. This will allow cancer patients and a caregiver to have free lodging as they come to Cincinnati for treatment,” Mr. Myers said.

        The cancer society estimates that 3,900 people a year travel more than 50 miles to get cancer treatment in Cincinnati.

        The four-story building, which has a fieldstone fence and stone features, would offer 23 rooms for lodging.

        It also will serve as the new headquarters of the Hamilton County chapter of the cancer society, including meeting space for several cancer support groups.

        Until recently, the building served as offices for the Bethesda Foundation and TriHealth human resources services.

        Renovations are expected to be completed by fall 2003.

        For information, call the cancer society at (513) 891-1600.


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