Iowa City Hope Lodge provides services, home to cancer patients - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City Hope Lodge provides services, home to cancer patients

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

"When people tell you having cancer was one of the best things was one of the best things in my life because [they] got to come to the hope lodge, and they cry when the leave, that's doing something,” said Kelly Lamb, manager of the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Iowa City.

The Hope Lodge has been offering a welcoming home since 2008 to those receiving cancer treatment at UIHC, the VA Medical Center or Mercy Medical Center who live at least 40 miles away.

The Hope Lodge refers to its residents as guests rather than patients, to provide a sense of positivity.  

Lamb says she tries her best to make it a comfortable place for all guests, and to make their dreams come true during their stay.

"Im kind of a proponent of the barter system," she said. "You know, if you can make this happen for me, I can take photographs or bake a cake or do something for you, and it's really worked well here.”

Lamb has helped guests tour Kinnick Stadium, go to Hawkeye football and basketball games and even meet the players.

And guests are thankful for her effort - and the Hope Lodge's continuous care.

Guests, caregivers and family members say they don't know what they would've done without the hope lodge's services.

“It's just been a blessing," Lauritta Hofer, the wife and caregiver of one of the guests said. "I'm just lost for words.”

Many guests say Lamb's extra efforts that provide that blessing.

“She's always kind of the go-to person," guest Mark Dilley said. "If we ever have a question or need something, Kelly's more than happy to help us with it.”

Hope Lodges are opening all over the country, and Lamb couldn't be happier she's able to make an impact at one of the locations.

“As long as the Cancer Society will have me, I'll stay here," she said. "I just look forward to coming to work every Monday morning.”

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