This is the 10th anniversary of Fox Chase Hope Lodge, sponsored by AstraZeneca. There are 30 lodges across the county that patients and families can use while undergoing cancer-related treatments. Over 1.7 million Americans are projected to be diagnosed with cancer this year alone, so these lodges are heavily used. She thanked us enormously for our 7+ years of support. Ms. Gill stressed how important the dinners we host are to the patients. They hope to raise $600,000 to completely renovate the kitchen/dining area of the lodge next summer.
In preparing for the renovation, Ms. Gill asked us for our suggestions. Fred suggested that one of the rooms in the lodge be designated as a private dining room, so smaller, confidential family gatherings could be held. Alan recommended another refrigerator is sorely needed. There is never enough room for us to store our “leftovers” from the dinner, given all the items already in the current refrigeration units. Dolly also noted that she witnessed an unfortunate incident that she hoped Ms. Gill could remedy. She had met a caregiver for someone who had passed away at the lodge that day. Apparently, the policy is to not allow the caretaker/family member to stay in the room after the patient dies. Dolly suggested that at the very least, there should be leniency the first 48 hours, until travel/other lodging arrangements can be made. Ms. Gill promised they would seriously consider our suggestions.
We asked her for suggestions of things we could do differently. For a change, she suggested we consider offering soup as a menu option. A number of patients have difficulty chewing or managing heavier foods. We agreed to look into this option for future dinners.
She closed by thanking us again for hosting dinners and noted that they are also always looking for volunteers to transport patients, if any of our members are interested in that service.
Ms. Gill received a big round of applause for her presentation and related handout.