Giving Hope a Home in the Intermountain West

American Cancer Society Opens a Hope Lodge in Utah, Giving Hope a Home for Cancer Patients in the Intermountain West


Ribbon cutting ceremony celebrates the completion of a home-away-from-home for patients traveling to receive treatment in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, Sept. 17, 2015 – The American Cancer Society proudly celebrated the completion of its Utah Hope Lodge today with a ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate the facility. Hundreds of cancer patients and caregivers each year will now be able to relax, heal and support each other while staying at the Hope Lodge and receiving care at any one of Salt Lake City’s premier cancer treatment facilities.

The Hope Lodge in Utah is the first of its kind to serve the Intermountain West and will provide lodging and amenities, free of charge, to cancer patients who travel from rural areas of Utah and surrounding states. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held in front of the new, 63,000 sq. ft. facility located in downtown Salt Lake at 100 South and 400 East.

“At today’s ribbon cutting ceremony, we gratefully recognize all those who have so generously donated to the cause and the many supporters who worked tirelessly to bring this much needed resource to our region. We also remember and honor those whose lives have been touched by cancer and dedicate this Hope Lodge to all the cancer warriors and their families who come here to find the hope they need,” said Katie Eccles, Hope Lodge Campaign Board Chair. “Starting today, none of our families or friends will have to make the tough decision to forego life-saving treatments simply because of travel or lodging costs—and that is truly something to celebrate.”

Last year, approximately 11,000 Utahns were diagnosed with cancer and almost half of them traveled from rural areas of the state to receive treatment in Salt Lake City. Additionally, Utah’s cancer centers saw over 1,000 patients from out of state last year. Now, not only will these patients have a place to stay when they travel for treatment, but they will have the right kind of place to stay—a home-away-from-home that is committed to creating a healing and supportive environment for getting well.

“The Hope Lodge was designed with both the patient and caregiver in the forefront of our minds,” said Zeke Dumke, Hope Lodge Campaign Board Vice-Chair. “We wanted to give patients a relaxed, calming environment where they could concentrate on healing and we wanted to give caregivers a sense of community and support as they help their loved ones battle cancer. We hope all who come and stay here will receive respite and leave with a renewed sense of strength.”

Each of the 41 patient suites has a private bedroom and bathroom, along with a separate sitting area and the facility offers a meditation room with soft, natural light for anyone needing quiet, personal reflection time. Another key design element of the Hope Lodge is the communal areas incorporated throughout the facility to encourage interaction and sharing of experiences. These spaces include:

  • The Sorenson Legacy Dining Room, which is comprised of 4 kitchens and a shared dining space.
  • The spacious Eccles Living Room with large picture windows facing the mountains where patients can read by the fire or listen to the grand piano while associating with other guests.
  • The O.C. Tanner Healing Garden where stunning, full-grown trees provide a serene, outdoor space for meditation and reflection.
  • A shared laundry room, business center and other amenities to ensure life for the patient and caregiver can continue on as normal as possible.

“One of the most important keys to surviving cancer is access to treatment,” said Gary Reedy, CEO of American Cancer Society. “For many patients, traveling to a treatment facility in another city or state offers the best hope for a cure. Along with traveling away from home, for weeks or months at a time, comes added emotional and financial stress during an already extremely challenging time. The Hope Lodge will alleviate the great burden of lodging costs associated with receiving the potentially life-saving treatment for patients and families. More people will now have access to the top-tier treatment centers and resources in Salt Lake City.”

“A great deal of thought went into planning even the smallest details of the Hope Lodge. From positioning sitting areas to best foster the sharing of experiences to offering Internet and office spaces that ensure caregivers can maintain daily routines as regularly as possible, we have tried to ease the burden of traveling so that the focus can be where it should be—on getting well,” said Pam Higginson, Senior Director of Major Gifts for the American Cancer Society. “We now look forward to welcoming our neighbors and friends in need to come stay at the Hope Lodge.”

Katie Eccles and Zeke Dumke had the honor of cutting the ribbon to the Lodge, surrounded by the Hope Lodge campaign board members and American Cancer Society national and regional officers. In addition to unveiling the newly completed facility, the ceremony recognized the many supporters and donors who were paramount in making the Hope Lodge a reality. Lead donors include:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
  • The State of Utah
  • OC Tanner
  • Sorenson Legacy Foundation
  • Intermountain Healthcare
  • The generous support of the Dumke Family Foundations
  • The C.R. England Family

The average stay of patients utilizing the Society’s other operating lodges around the country is approximately 21 nights. The Hope Lodge in Utah is expected to serve nearly 800 patients per year. Along with providing lodging to cancer patients, the facility will also serve as a full cancer resource center for the community, housing the local American Cancer Society offices and its Quality of Life programs, including Relay for Life, Road to Recovery, Reach to Recovery, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and Look Good…Feel Better.

With the Hope Lodge now complete, the first patients to stay at the facility will arrive beginning October of 2015. Members of the community interested in seeing the facility are invited to schedule a guided tour as part of the American Cancer Society’s annual Salt Lake City Relay for Life on September 18th by visiting

About The American Cancer Society Utah
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of nearly three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization in the United States, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. during the past two decades, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress, nearly 14.5 million Americans who have had cancer, and countless more who have avoided it, will celebrate more birthdays this year. We’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. As the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, we’re finding cures, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need, and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, visit or call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345.

Media Contacts:
Emilee McConkie
North Beacon for Hope Lodge
[email protected]