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Here’s how you can give cancer patients peace of mind

Cancer is stressful enough. For residents of northern British Columbia, there’s the added stress of having to leave home to get treatments in Prince George
Canadian-Cancer-Society
Michael Downes at Kordyban Lodge

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, the news can be devastating.

With daily radiation treatments often taking up to five weeks, and chemotherapy spread out over three or four months, life can be overwhelming for patients. For residents of northern British Columbia, there’s the added stress of having to leave home to get treatments in Prince George.

Finding a place to stay can be an additional burden. Sadly, some patients — such as people who are self-employed or seniors on a fixed income — have declined treatments simply because they couldn’t afford the cost of accommodation.

The Canadian Cancer Society Kordyban Lodge has always been a place of refuge and solace for cancer patients who need accommodation in Prince George. Located right next to the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North, Kordyban Lodge provides semi-private rooms and communal living spaces with all the comforts of home.

Even though the Lodge fee is $54 a night, which includes three meals a day, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is working to reduce that cost — and patients’ financial stress — even more. The goal is to lower the fee to $20 a night.

The Peace of Mind campaign is already over halfway towards its $450,000 goal.

“This will reduce the financial pressure so patients can concentrate on what really matters: getting healthy,” says Aimee Cassie, CCS Annual Giving Officer in Prince George.

Michael is a patient who knows all too well how important it is to have a peaceful and welcoming place to stay. “When I first walked into the Kordyban Lodge, I immediately felt like I was home,” he says on the campaign’s website. “I logged and worked in the bush for over 20 years – but the next seven weeks would be the hardest job of my life. My diagnosis of Stage 4 nasopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma required 35 radiation treatments and seven chemotherapy sessions. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. If it weren’t for the services that are in place, I wouldn’t have made it.”

Another patient told Cassie that the Lodge was “like staying in a cocoon until she was ready to go home.”

“Patients can simply be themselves, surrounded by people who understand them,” says Cassie. “There are also lots of peaceful places where people can find a private moment.”

If you would like to give cancer patients a little peace of mind as they undergo treatments, please donate here. For more information, please visit www.cancer.ca.