The Compass Winter 2022 | Page 3


Hope Lodge : A Home for Hope

hen Elizabeth went for her annual mammogram in January 2022 , she expected the same “ no suspicious results ” she ’ d always received . After all , she was an active , healthy retiree who didn ’ t have any family history of breast cancer .
Elizabeth and her partner , Dean , sold their DFW-area home in 2020 to spend their days traveling , hiking , bicycling , camping and enjoying the outdoors . But even with their travels , she found the time to care for her health and keep up with screenings — like her mammogram .
She was about to leave for her next adventure in Costa Rica when she got the call that her mammogram had shown something suspicious . Concerned , Elizabeth quickly received additional testing before her trip . Those tests confirmed a diagnosis of Stage 1 breast cancer .
“ When I received a phone call that the initial results came back as Stage 1 ‘ in situ ,’ I was shocked and scared ,” she said .
Finding hope away from home
After doing her research , Elizabeth chose the cancer care team at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas for her care . Her care plan included a lumpectomy to remove the tumor , followed by radiation .
Elizabeth and Dean ring the Hope Bell , wrapping up her in-person treatment .
Because she didn ’ t live in Dallas , Elizabeth and Dean needed a place to stay while she received care . Her surgeon , Lucy Wallace , MD , recommended the nearby Hope Lodge . The American Cancer Society opened the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge on the campus of Baylor University Medical Center in 2021 .
Funded 100 % by generous donors , it offers
50 private suites where out-of-town patients and their support persons can stay at no cost during their cancer treatment . For many , this home away from home relieves the stress of travel , financial strain and separation from loved ones during care .
Elizabeth was a Hope Lodge guest before and after her surgery , for surgery follow-up and oncology appointments , and for almost a month during her radiation treatments . “ Staying at Hope Lodge was like a shelter from the storm ,” she said . “ If Hope Lodge weren ’ t available , my treatment would have been incalculably more stressful . None of my options would have been nearly as convenient or uplifting , not to mention avoiding the significant additional expense .”
More than just cancer care
Hope Lodge is one example of our initiatives to care for the whole patient and family — because we understand that cancer affects all areas of life .
Some of the amenities include a fully stocked

“ Staying at Hope Lodge was like a shelter from the storm ”

– Elizabeth
communal kitchen , community living
BSW patient ; Hope Lodge guest
and dining areas , activity rooms , free laundry facilities , a resource library , an outdoor healing garden and 24-hour staffing to support a nurturing environment . Elizabeth especially enjoyed the convenient location that allowed her to walk to radiation treatment each day , the large communal kitchen so that she could still make her favorite healthy meals , and the quiet places to read or spend time outdoors .
The Hope Lodge also provided more than just a place to stay during treatment . It surrounded Elizabeth and Dean with support from staff and others going through similar experiences .
“ Hope Lodge brings together cancer patients from almost every conceivable life situation ,” Elizabeth said . “ Having the opportunity to interact with other survivors made a huge difference in my outlook on my diagnosis and prognosis .”
Above all , Elizabeth says the staff members at the Hope Lodge stand out in her mind . Their kind-hearted attitude helped ease her anxiety throughout her stay and made the Hope Lodge a welcoming respite from cancer . “ It is a lifechanging experience that touches each guest and their families ,” she said .
Thankful for early detection and hope
Now that Elizabeth has completed her in-person treatment , she ’ s back to doing what she loves — visiting family , spending time outdoors and exploring new places .
She is thankful that a mammogram found her cancer when it was very treatable . She also encourages others to get their recommended screenings .
“ I count my blessings every day that I am a cancer survivor with a very good prognosis and the well-being to pursue my activities ,” she said .
Elizabeth is also thankful for those who make Hope Lodge a reality for her and so many other cancer patients . Her experience wouldn ’ t have been possible without it .
“ The generosity of those who support Hope Lodge is saving lives ,” Elizabeth said . “ Cancer strikes people from all walks of life . I suspect a significant number would not be able to access the optimum treatment for their cancers if Hope Lodge didn ’ t exist .”
For more information or to help support the impactful work of Hope Lodge , please contact Christina Goodman at 214.820.4408 or Christina . Goodman @ BSWHealth . org .