There isn't a day that goes by that a newspaper's local obituary doesn't have a notice of someone who had their life taken away by cancer. It is still the big "C" word that brings thoughts of our own mortality to even the bravest of us. Perhaps you have survived, known, loved or lost someone to this horrible disease...
According to Government figures for 2014 cancer is the leading cause of death in 22 states. Sadly, Idaho is included in this recent statistic.
Present statistics indicate 1 out of 3 people will have cancer during their lifetime. Based on current trends, 40% of children born today will have cancer at some point during their lifetime. Unfortunately, cancer is not going away.
In Idaho, 538,000 (1/3 of the population) out of 1.6 million people live in small towns and rural areas. When faced with a cancer diagnosis, treatment is either limited or nonexistent requiring patients to travel back and forth daily anywhere from 25 to 100 miles, one way, or paying for expensive overnight accommodations in a city that offers chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment. For some this added expense and stress is another cloud hanging over them, causing others to forgo treatment altogether!
At the same time cancer patients are faced with this life threatening illness, life goes on and monthly expenses are due, not to mention the added burden of medical bills and the cost for overnight accommodations and food while receiving treatment away from home. On the average cancer patients undergoing daily radiation therapy will receive 25 to 35 treatments over five to seven weeks.
During this most difficult time in a person's life, receiving the best possible treatment and having a loved one/caretaker with them is most important for emotional support. It is also beneficial for patients to form a human support network in addition to removing the financial cloud hanging over them for temporary housing.
The Boise-Nampa area provides the best possible care for cancer patients with state of the art technology and the most advanced cancer treatment options available in our state. Nampa provides a small town atmosphere where people coming from rural areas can feel comfortable.
Please see the map below showing the states that maintain American Cancer Society Hope Lodges. There are presently 32 lodges, with the closest one in Salt Lake City, Utah. Please note that there are no lodges basically west of Mississippi River area and the American Cancer Society does not have any plans of building one in Idaho in the near future. Like other cities and towns, people pitched in together to make a home possible.
If we build it...they will come!