CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Extended Stay America -- the largest company-owned and operated hotel chain in the U.S. -- and the American Cancer Society -- the largest voluntary health organization in the U.S. -- announce an unprecedented multi-year partnership through which Extended Stay America will provide 20,000 overnight stays to cancer patients who must travel far from home to receive life-saving treatment. Extended Stay America will offer 10,000 rooms free of charge to patients plus an additional 10,000 stays at a special rate of $12/night, providing patients an affordable, comfortable place to stay so they can focus on getting well.
The program will be piloted in Atlanta, Boston and Houston beginning Nov. 1, 2013, then expand into other key cities in December before launching nationwide in early 2014. To request an Extended Stay America room, cancer patients or their caregivers should contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
"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," says Jim Donald, chief executive officer at Extended Stay America. "With cancer impacting everyone's life in some way, we're proud to partner with the American Cancer Society to provide the key to hope for patients battling cancer so they can focus on their fight."
One of the most important keys to surviving cancer is access to treatment. For many patients, the best hope for a cure means traveling an average of 140 miles to a treatment facility in another city, sometimes for weeks or months. Through its Hope Lodge program, the American Cancer Society offers free, temporary lodging to patients and their caregivers, offsetting costs associated with living away from home during treatment.
In 2012, Hope Lodge provided more than 260,000 nights of free lodging to cancer patients, saving them an estimated $26 million in hotel costs. Now, Extended Stay America extends-a-hand by providing 20,000 overnight stays throughout 632 Extended Stay America hotel locations in the U.S., alleviating demand on the 31 American Cancer Society Hope Lodge facilities which often run at capacity.
"The American Cancer Society is dedicated to removing the barriers that cancer patients face when seeking treatment," said Kristen Solt, vice president, Hope Lodge Network, American Cancer Society. "Having to travel for treatment puts an additional burden on families who are already going through a great deal of emotional and financial stress. With Extended Stay America's unprecedented donation of 20,000 hotel nights, we're able to provide increased support for patients and ease some of the burden of cancer in their lives."
"When you are sick with cancer and taking treatments, your time should be spent on the many things you need to do to get well," said North Carolina resident Jimmie Herndon who stayed at the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge while undergoing cancer treatment. "Worrying and being in a negative state can hinder your ability to get well. When an illness such as cancer attacks your body, don't give up, don't give out, help is all around you."
Throughout National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, Extended Stay America will unveil pink roomkey cards and invite guests to join the fight against cancer by donating $5 upon check-in. Extended Stay America's more than 10,000 employees will also volunteer resources and drive individual fundraising efforts through American Cancer Society's Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events. Money raised will benefit American Cancer Society research -- the largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research in the U.S. -- so more lifesaving breakthroughs can be made.
Extended Stay America provides the comforts and conveniences of home complete with on-site laundry centers, kitchens in each 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 and daily Grab-and-Go Breakfast provides a quick and healthy way to start the day and pet-friendly accommodations allow beloved pets to provide healing comfort.
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 the Hope Lodge program, please visit cancer.org or call 1-800-227-2345.
About Extended Stay America
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Extended Stay America has 684 locations in the U.S. and Canada. The company owns and operates hotels under the core brand, Extended Stay America ®, which serves the mid-priced extended stay segment, and other brands. It is the largest owner/operator of company-branded hotels in North America and employs approximately 10,400 employees in its hotel properties and headquarters.
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