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American Cancer Society breaks ground on Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge
The $30 million facility will offer free lodging for cancer patients traveling to Houston for life-saving treatment.

HOUSTON, Oct. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Cancer Society will break ground at 10 a.m. EST, Tuesday, October 3, 2017, on the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge. The $30 million facility will be the largest of its kind in the country, offering free lodging for patients seeking cancer treatment in the Houston medical community. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at the construction site, located at 6801 Ardmore Street, and will be available via live stream at https://livestream.com/ACS/HoustonHope.

The American Cancer Society operates more than 30 Hope Lodge facilities nationwide. Each Hope Lodge community offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay when their treatment is away from home. Since 1984, the American Cancer Society has provided more than 5 million nights of lodging to patients across the country. When the Houston Hope Lodge opens its doors, the 64-room facility will save cancer patients and their caregivers an estimated $3 million annually in lodging expenses. Some patients spend days, weeks, even months away from home. The emotional and financial toll of the loss of income, medical bills, lodging, and dining out can be staggering. The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge communities located around the country can help alleviate some of those issues.

"As a cancer survivor who traveled 400 miles for treatment and struggled to find affordable lodging I know how Hope Lodge will alleviate the financial burden and anxiety for future cancer patients," said Zach Jurgensen, cancer survivor and beneficiary of the American Cancer Society Hotel Partners Program. "The sense of community Hope Lodge will give and the relief people will feel knowing they have a safe place to stay is extremely important to cancer patients and will be impactful for the city of Houston."

At full occupancy, the Houston Hope Lodge facility will provide more than 23,000 room nights each year. It will include private guest suites, a library, shared living room, kitchen and dining areas, help-yourself pantry, daily access to linens, space for recreation and contemplation, and transportation services. The Hope Lodge community will not only offer the comforts of home, but it will also bring together cancer patients and caregivers who can support and learn from one another. Patients will also have access to free transportation services to and from the world-renowned cancer centers within the Texas Medical Center. This program benefit is in addition to the American Cancer Society's current offerings in the community.

"The Hope Lodge Houston facility promises to be one of the most tangible demonstrations of the American Cancer Society's commitment to improving the quality of life of cancer patients and their families in and around Houston by providing them a home away from home and offering greater access to care," said Gary Reedy, CEO, American Cancer Society. 

The Houston Hope Lodge capital campaign is led by Chairpersons Bob and Janice McNair and Honorary Chairpersons President George and Mrs. Barbara Bush. At the completion of the campaign, $40 million will have been raised to support the construction and ongoing operational costs of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge facility. The American Cancer Society still needs the community's help to reach that goal. To make a gift or for more information about Hope Lodge Houston Visit www.cancer.org/hopelodgehouston to make a gift or for more information about Hope Lodge Houston.

To make a gift, contact the American Cancer Society
Sandy Biggers, Campaign Director
American Cancer Society
2500 Fondren Road, Suite 100
Houston, TX  77063
Phone: 713-706-5640

Interview opportunities during ground-breaking:
Gary Reedy, CEO, American Cancer Society  
Sandy Biggers, Campaign Director, American Cancer Society
Zach Jurgensen, American Cancer Society spokesperson and cancer survivor
Richard M. Schulze, Founder of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation

Video Opportunities
Ceremonial Groundbreaking
Interview opportunities
Pre-event b-roll

About the American Cancer Society:
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of nearly 2 million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 25 percent decline in the cancer death rate in the U.S. since 1991, driven by less smoking, better treatments, and earlier detection. We're finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

SOURCE American Cancer Society

For further information: Jennifer Walker, 281-782-4646, jennifer.walker@cancer.org; Miriam Falco, miriam.falco@cancer.org