The 25 million-dollar Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge recently opened their doors to patients- for free. After being on the American Cancer Society’s wish list, a donation of $7.5 million in 2019 finally kicked the production of the complex into gear. The center offers a place for patients to stay, free of charge, during their treatment at neighboring health clinics and hospitals.
Charlotte Jones, Vice President of the Dallas Cowboys, made the $7.5 million donation, along with her family, after seeing those close to her suffering from cancer. Jones said in an interview, “To be able to help people when they are in their darkest moments hits on every emotional chord that our family has.”
Other separate contributors also gave money to support the $1 million annual operating fund, with every room named after a donor.
Patients often travel hundreds of miles to receive cancer treatment at UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW). A breast cancer patient, Rose Riley, was forced to make an over 200-mile journey from Oklahoma for her treatment at UTSW. She was selected to be the first-ever guest at the new center, which boasts 50 separate suites, all with individual caretakers. Riley was thrilled to experience the center, which feels more like a luxury hotel than anything else. “I can’t imagine it being any nicer,” Riley remarked.
The 40,000 square foot complex features private rooms for each guest and numerous living spaces and quarters. The American Cancer Society created laundry rooms, mediation and outdoor spaces, and a stocked community kitchen for the hotel grounds. There is also transportation available to and from appointments.
Doctors can check patients into the hotel before their treatment, so long as each patient lives at least 40 miles away. This allows the furthest patients to get the help they need.