American Cancer Society Hope Lodge—
Kansas City, MO

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1120 Pennsylvania Avenue , Kansas City, MO 64105 Phone: 816-218-7200Fax: 816-842-5754

Stories and Comments

If you would like to add your comment to this page, please email the Kansas City Hope Lodge at HopeLodgeKansasCityMO@cancer.org or call 816.218.7200.

Annette Haldiman's Story

"There is a haven in Kansas City for cancer patients undergoing treatment that live over 50 miles from Kansas City. It is there to help patients with the burden of traveling so frequently while receiving treatment. It is free of charge to patients; the only requirement is that their nurse or social worker from the treatment center sets up the initial stay.

Physically, that is what Hope Lodge on E. 12th in Kansas City provides. But, it provides much more spiritually and emotionally. I had my first visit in November of 2006, scheduling the stay to cut down on the 80 some mile drive one way to Kansas City for daily radiation treatments. At first, I would stay just one or two nights a week, I still had strength to drive (with my mother as my constant supporter and companion), but after the first couple of weeks the drive became more and more difficult. I decided to stay 4 nights a week, and this is when I began to discover the additional gifts Hope Lodge gives.

By staying the extra nights, you become involved in the activities and daily lives of other patients in the lodge. I had read the activity board in the main hall during my other stays and thought they looked nice, but thought I was much too busy to participate. One night my mother and I decided to play a game of bingo. I thought I would stay a little while and as soon as I felt the least bit tired I would go to my room.

What happened was, I began to have fun, and I began to feel normal again. We all swapped stories, not just cancer stories, but life stories. We laughed, we complained about not getting the numbers on our cards, we dropped our markers, we won prizes, we laughed more, and I stayed till the end. I wasn't ready to leave when it was over, I had so much fun.

The next day, I saw many of the people I had played bingo with in the common area, and we chatted more, swapping treatment stories and learning more about how we each were coping with our situations. Most of us found that talking about what was going on really helped, we had common concerns and felt strengthened when we shared our doubts and fears.

Each time I passed the activity board I checked to see what was planned and looked forward to participating. Sometimes, when there wasn’t an activity I would go down just to find someone to talk to, or work on a puzzle with.

I would joke with my friends at home about the "old folks home" games we played but also let them know how much fun it really was. It was a great feeling to know you had more to look forward to in the evening than just television or a book. We didn't just play bingo, there were entertainers, musicians, crafters and support lectures as well. We even had a scavenger hunt one night.

The employees and volunteers at the lodge were also so friendly and nice, and many had experiences with cancer as well. There is an atmosphere of caring that is so strong that you feel safe, pampered and loved. That feeling cannot be manufactured, it can only come from people whose hearts are in their job. Each and every person I encountered that worked at the lodge was fully engaged and willing to help whole-heartedly.

This kind of support made me stronger, and that strength was what I needed to face treatment each day and keep a smile on my face. Seeing the time and effort these people were putting in to help the patients out and have a better day made every session a little easier to face.

At Christmas, we had cards in our mailboxes, special crystal bracelets given by an anonymous jeweler, gift bags left on our doorknobs, every where I turned there was a surprise, a smile, a hug, a helpful hand.

I could see the other patients' response to this place as well. We began to realize the true gift of this place was the support, from the staff, from each other, from our care givers. The interactions were just as important as the warm beds and sparkling kitchens. These interactions could not happen in monthly support groups, they happened because we were given the time to develop relationships while essentially living together.

I consider some of these patients and staff life long friends. We exchanged emails, addresses and phone numbers and vowed to keep in touch with one another. I know I will stay in touch. These people have touched my heart and brought me through one of the toughest experiences of my life.

What a valuable asset to Kansas City and cancer patients the Hope Lodge is. I cannot begin to thank the American Cancer Society enough for their generosity and support. My life has changed since I was diagnosed with cancer, but receiving the kind of support Hope Lodge, my friends and family have provided has changed my heart."

Sincerely,
Annette Haldiman

Comments from Guests and Volunteers

"Overall, I am very much impressed and pleasantly surprised with the Hope Lodge.  Staying here brought a lot of comfort and peace of mind during otherwise very stressful time.  Thank you very very much!!!"

Vern & Priscilla Kendell

"We have precious memories of the time we spend at Hope Lodge. You were the greatest."

George & Pat Hecker

"Thanks for being here...we don't know how we'd make it through this without you."

Jan & Dave Drews

"Thank you for all the help and support that you supply. Your efforts are a true reflection of the Christmas spirit and remain an important part of my recovery and continued good health."

John M. Ashline

"The personnel at Hope Lodge are truly caring people. They don't hesitate to do whatever it takes to make your stay with them a pleasant one. Hope Lodge is like an extended family. My husband and I were amazed at the Lodge's facilities, they have everything you need to make your stay there a comfortable one. The people there, their smiles and upbeat attitudes, will be remembered forever. When you combine the facilities and the people working at Hope Lodge, you come up with something few people get to experience. God Bless you all and thank you for your help and the use of the Lodge."

Mary Lue & Larry Potthast

"The people at the Hope Lodge are fantastic. They are helpful and friendly, and the building is very nice. The support you get at Hope Lodge is a lifeline."

Yvonne Larson

"There are many great things about the Hope Lodge. We enjoy the friends we've made, especially the people that help with the food. The laundry facilities are very handy, almost like you're home."

Alice Schlovohm

"The people at the Hope Lodge are awesome. It's like an extended family. We organize meals, games, and events for birthdays. My daughter's brownie troup even made Valentines to hand on the guests' doors. Everyone gets involved."

Dawn Boedeker, volunteer

"The Hope Lodge is a wonderful place; a home away from home. The employees are fantastic. They are all loving and caring people, full of support. It is a clean, home-like environment. I would recommend it to anyone that has to stay in the area for treatments, appointments, surgery, etc."

Sue Affolter

"When we call the Lodge with our arrival date, we're guaranteed a room when we get there,which is a huge relief. Plus, since the Lodge is a clean, sterile environment, no one is confined to their room. It's a beautiful place, it really is. Everyone at the Hope Lodge is going through the same thing, they understand, it's a very strong support system. We've met many outstanding people and made new friends. I don't think we could've received better treatment or gotten more from any other place. It truly is a home away from home."

Janette & Brian Anderson

"I want to express my appreciation for a wonderful benefit provided by the American Cancer Society to cancer patients receiving treatment in Kansas City. Hope Lodge is described as a “home away from home when it is needed most” and it truly has been a godsend to our family as I received treatment for multiple myeloma at KU Med. My wife and I have been guests at Hope Lodge off and on over the past two years and just recently finished a 100-day stay following a stem cell transplant. I cannot imagine a better place for someone in my situation to recover away from home. We especially enjoyed the support of the caring staff, volunteers, and fellow guests at Hope Lodge. It is much more than just a place to stay; it is a place to live. I encourage everyone to learn more about Hope Lodge in Kansas City by visiting their website at cancer.org/hopelodgekansascity.

Hope Lodge is a good example of your support directly benefiting our local community. We have met several other guests at Hope Lodge who are also from the Manhattan area. Thanks to all who support the American Cancer Society and Hope Lodge and make it possible for many of us to celebrate life."

David Pacey

"As a family and as someone who stayed a while at the Hope Lodge, we can’t thank you all enough.  You folks are truly angels and a gift from God to people everywhere that touch your doorways. Much love and God’s Blessings upon all of you,"

Cheri Lenhert and family

Residency at a Hope Lodge facility is a courtesy extended at the sole discretion of American Cancer Society. All individuals who meet the Hope Lodge eligibility requirements will be welcomed regardless of race, creed, citizenship, physical disability, gender, color, ethnic heritage, veteran status, economic status, or sexual orientation. For admissions information, please select a Hope Lodge location.