(July 27, 2015, Lorin Eleni Gill, Pacific Business News)
The American Cancer Society has broken ground on the Clarence T.C. Ching Hope Lodge, a lodging facility for cancer patients in Hawaii who come to Honolulu for treatment.
The nonprofit is still $3 million from its $13.5 million capital campaign goal for the 19-bedroom facility on 251 Vineyard St., located near The Queen’s Medical Center.
“We’re trying to close that gap quickly so there’s no delay,” said Catherine Mickle, CFO of the national American Cancer Society. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall. Larry Rodriguez, who has been associated with the campaign for about three years, said the lodge will be valuable for cancer patients, especially those who live on the Neighbor Islands.
“This will provide them free lodging for themselves and caregivers,” the retired financial executive said. “It’s a much-needed service.” Approximately 650 Hawaii residents must travel to Oahu each year for cancer treatment, according to the American Cancer Society. Mickle said the lodge will be the 33rd of its kind in the country. “Lodging on the island is so expensive,” she said. “We’re really trying to get access to care for everyone, and part of the barrier is lodging and transportation. It’s not just finding a doctor and getting a diagnosis and treatment, so we’re building lodges across the nation.”