Free hotel stays for cancer patients

Extended Stay America kicks off program in Atlanta

The typical cancer patient has to travel an average of 140 miles to get treatment. That can mean a lot of expensive hotel stays for the patient and his or her family as they await care.

That’s why the American Cancer Society teamed up with Extended Stay America hotels to provide free stays for cancer patients and their caregivers. The program kicked off this month in Atlanta, Boston, and Houston and will open up to the company’s 100 other markets by early 2014.

The American Cancer Society currently has a Hope Lodge program that provides free lodging to patients in 31 cities, but those rooms are almost always at capacity, says Rick Canale, vice president of marketing, strategy, and planning for Extended Stay America.

That’s where Extended Stay America steps in. The company will offer 10,000 free rooms and 10,000 rooms at only $12/night, says Canale.

“I learned from the American Cancer Society that a lot of folks that stay in the Hope Lodge program, if they didn’t have access to free lodging, some of them wouldn’t have received life-saving treatment. This program saves lives.”

The program started in Atlanta because well, the American Cancer Society is based here, but primarily because of all the hospitals.

“There are fifteen Atlanta-area hospitals that the American Cancer Society works with to provide lodging for patients that are in active treatment,” says Canale. “It’s the same in Boston and in Houston. Those are cities that have a very high demand for lodging for cancer patients.”

To take advantage of the program, cancer patients are asked to call 800-227-2345.

Says Canale: “We have a tremendous amount of faith in the American Cancer Society that they’re going to make sure these rooms are given to the right people.”