Finding hope and a warm bed at Charleston’s ‘Hope Lodge’

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By HEATHER RUPPE

Colleton residents who need to travel to Charleston for cancer treatment have a free place to stay at the Hope Lodge of Charleston.

The lodge is run through the American Cancer Society and gives South Carolina residents a place to stay while they are seeking treatment. People from Walterboro and from more rural parts of Colleton County do frequently visit the Hope Lodge, according to Kelsey Locklear, senior manager of the Hope Lodge.

“We work on a referral basis. Whenever someone comes into a cancer treatment facility and says they need help, or if you’re in a rural area and you have to travel to Charleston for treatment, that patient is referred to us for help.”

The teams at area cancer treatment centers, such as Hollings at MUSC in Charleston, will fill out all of the application and the referral.

“It’s like the Ronald McDonald House for adult cancer patients.”

The average person can stay as long as they need, depending on their individual cancer treatment schedule. “Sometimes, we see bone marrow transplants for three-plus months. For however long that person needs it, we are here.”

People who need to stay at the Hope Lodge are referred from cancer center treatment facilities and from oncologists throughout the Lowcountry.

“We house patients for free while going through cancer treatments,” said Locklear.

For more information on the Hope Lodge, go to www.Cancer.org/hopelodgecharleston or call the Hope Lodge at 843-958-0930.

The Hope Lodge itself was established in 1970 and is located at 269 Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston. The concept for the house came from Margot Freudenberg, who is a leader in the Charleston medical community. She saw similar community-style houses while traveling through Australia and New Zealand, and chose to bring the concept back to the Lowcountry.

If you have a cancer diagnosis and need support or information about what resources are available to you, call 1-800-227-2345.

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