New cancer center to help those battling disease

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A new cancer center will make battling the disease a lot easier for hundreds of patients who travel to Memphis for treatment.

It's called Harrah's Hope Lodge.  Similar centers are already serving patients in Nashville and 23 other cities around the country.

Organizers describe Harrah's Hope Lodge as a 'Ronald McDonald House for adults.'  The facility will offer free housing to out of town adults who come to Memphis for cancer treatment.

"There will be some kitchen areas and recreational areas and garden and just a nice place to go through a very tough time," Peter Pettit of the American Cancer Society said.
American Cancer Society officials said an estimated 2,000 patients travel to Memphis every year for  cancer treatment. Many come with their families and paying for food and hotel space for several days gets very expensive.

Harrah's Hope Lodge was started by a $2 million gift from the Harrah's Foundation. Assisting the staff at the center will be volunteers who have dealt with cancer themselves.

The new center will be built on land donated by the University of Tennessee and will feature some 40 suites with private baths and sleeping accommodations for two.

A groundbreaking for Harrah's Hope Lodge is scheduled for May and officials hope to have the center up and running a year from then.

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