CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the most important keys to surviving cancer is access to treatment. For many patients, the best hope for a cure means traveling to a treatment facility in another city, sometimes for weeks or months. To help patients overcome the financial and emotional stress associated with traveling for treatment, Extended Stay America – the largest owner operated hotel chain in the U.S. – recently announced an unprecedented multi-year partnership with the American Cancer Society – the largest voluntary health organization in the U.S.
Over the course of two years, Extended Stay America will provide 40,000 hotel stays to cancer patients receiving treatment away from home, including 20,000 rooms free of charge and an additional 20,000 stays at an incredibly discounted rate of $12/night. With an affordable and comfortable place to stay, patients and their caregivers can focus their energy and financial resources on getting well.
The program, previously in pilot, is now launching nationwide with the American Cancer Society booking patient rooms at Extended Stay America's 632 locations across 44 states. To request a room, patients or their caregivers should contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
"You never think cancer will touch your family," said Jan Grady, whose 31-year-old son Mike was diagnosed with Stage 2 testicular cancer. "When it does, it's like the rug is pulled out from under you." Mike's treatment at a facility in Boulder, Colo., about an hour away from his home, included five-hour chemotherapy sessions every day for the first week of three, three-week cycles. "Knowing he couldn't drive back and forth every day, I called the American Cancer Society for help and was told about the Extended Stay America program," Jan said. For the first week of daily treatments, Mike's father, Peter, traveled from North Carolina to be with him and the two stayed at the Extended Stay America hotel near the treatment center. "Without this, it would have been a tremendous financial hardship. This program lessened our burden by thousands of dollars." Since completing his treatment, Jan reports, "Mike is doing wonderful! He has a new job and has gradually resumed his training for trail running races."
"Extended Stay America is committed to giving back to the many communities in which we operate, and one important way to accomplish this is by taking care of those who seek a better future for themselves and their families," said Jim Donald, chief executive officer at Extended Stay America. "Our hotels are specifically designed to bring the comforts of home to extended stay guests and we're especially proud to leverage our unique properties to supplement the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge program, helping to expand their vital efforts."
"The American Cancer Society is dedicated to removing the barriers cancer patients face when seeking treatment," said Kristen Solt, vice president, Hope Lodge Network, American Cancer Society. "Traveling for treatment puts an additional burden on people who are already experiencing emotional and financial stress. We're thrilled to have the Extended Stay America donation because every room we provide makes a huge impact. We experienced great success during our pilot effort, proving the partnership is an effective way to expand our room inventory. In Houston, for example, the demand for lodging well exceeds our resources, and now with Extended Stay America's rooms, we are able to meet many more patients' needs for lodging."
In 2013, the American Cancer Society provided more than 265,000 nights of free lodging in its own Hope Lodge locations, saving cancer patients an estimated $38 million in hotel costs. Through this new partnership, Extended Stay America is extending a hand to help alleviate the demand on the 31 Hope Lodge facilities which often run at capacity.
Extended Stay America provides the comforts and conveniences of home, complete with on-site laundry centers, kitchens in every hotel room for patients to store and cook the foods they enjoy, and flat-screen TVs with premium channels to unwind with favorite shows. In-room Wi-Fi access allows patients to stay connected with loved ones while away from home, a daily Grab and Go Bar offers quick and healthy food options to start the day, and pet-friendly accommodations allow beloved pets to provide healing comfort.
The company is also leveraging the 632 Extended Stay America locations to collect employee and guest donations to benefit American Cancer Society programs and research. The Society is the largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research in the U.S. Extended Stay America's approximate 10,000 employees will also volunteer resources and drive individual fundraising efforts through the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events held across the country.
To join Extended Stay America and the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer, visit ExtendedStayAmerica.com or call 800-804-3724. For information about American Cancer Society programs and services, including lodging, please visit cancer.org or call 1-800-227-2345.
About Extended Stay
Extended Stay America, Inc., the largest owner/operator of company-branded hotels in North America, owns and operates 684 hotels in the U.S. and Canada comprising approximately 76,200 rooms and employs approximately 10,000 employees in its hotel properties and headquarters. The Company owns and operates hotels under the core brand Extended Stay America®, which serves the mid-priced extended stay segment, and other brands. Visit www.extendedstay.com for more information about the Company and its services.
About American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we mark our 100th birthday in 2013, we're determined to finish the fight against cancer. We're finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, 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, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
SOURCE Extended Stay America; American Cancer Society