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Home away from home: Lodge provides free accommodations for cancer patients
The Canadian Cancer Society's Lodge That Gives provides accommodations free-of-charge for those who live outside of Halifax while they undergo cancer treatment.
The Lodge That Gives has become a second home for Doug Gordon.
“It's a little hard to do a two hour trip every day for radiation,” says Gordon.
Gordon lives outside Halifax and has been staying at the lodge during his radiation treatments. He says he wasn't sure what to expect when he first arrived.
“I brought a whole bunch of movies with me and I was like 'oh I don't know what it's going to be like.’ I haven't watched a movie since I've been here,” says Gordon.
Gordon keeps busy with the many programs offered at the facility, programming that's about to expand.
“To include massage therapy, reiki, therapeutic touch, as well as support groups and individual group sessions. We're also going to have individualized fitness programs for cancer patients,” says Kendra Morton, interim CEO of the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Cancer Society.
She says the expansion should be complete by early June, nearly doubling capacity with 64 beds which will help cut down on wait times.
The lodge will also have a day respite area for patients to spend time between hospital appointments.
“They can just relax, have a cup of coffee or tea, have something to eat, watch TV, get to know some of the other cancer patients, as well as utilize any of the services here at the lodge,” says Morton.
One of the most important services is the food.
“We tend to do a lot of home-style cooked foods, very much things that you'd have if you were sitting at home. Things your grandmother would of made for you,” says Adam Hayley, chef at the Lodge That Gives.
Hayley says food is important to the health of the residents and can also enhance their stay.
“It's very much a community when our guests come in, they can bond over a meal,” says Hayley.
Hayley puts his culinary skills to the test in next week's Cooking For Cancer event, competing against other chefs and community leaders for a good cause.
Morton says the lodge is fully funded by donations, making these types of fundraisers crucial.
“It's going to help us provide those accommodations, meals that Adam prepares over on the lodge side, offer programming,” says Morton.
Cooking For Cancer takes place Monday, May 2 at the Westin in Halifax.