Member News

Get connected with other members of the St Johns Chamber of Commerce


Member News

News from our Members

With medical tourism on the rise, the American Cancer Society responds by Giving Hope a Home in Jacksonville, FL. Bookmark

Media Release

With medical tourism on the rise, the American Cancer Society responds by Giving Hope a Home in Jacksonville, FL.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – April 28, 2017— The American Cancer Society will be breaking ground this fall on The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge in Jacksonville, which will be a no-cost home away from home for cancer patients and their caregivers. Cancer patients regularly travel from across North Florida and around the country to seek treatment at Jacksonville’s Mayo Clinic, UF Health, Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center, Ackerman Cancer Center and St. Vincent’s HealthCare. “The demand for no cost lodging for cancer patients and their caregivers traveling into Jacksonville is apparent. Here in NE Florida, the Society has provided 150 nights of free lodging through hotel partners in the first 3 months of 2017 and in 2016 the Society provided 1,465 nights in Jacksonville.” said the Society’s campaign director, Kellie Ann Kelleher.
Patients battling cancer already face so many challenges. Finding and paying for a place to stay should never stand between a patient and the care they need. The Jacksonville Hope Lodge directly addresses this issue by providing nearly 12,000 free nights of lodging annually to cancer patients and their caregivers.  This permits patients to recover while preserving precious financial resources for their children and other immediate family needs.
The fundraising campaign led by volunteer leadership Charlie Tomm and Mr. and Mrs. Carter Bryan was launched in the fall of 2014 with an initial match challenge grant of $9.6 million from the family foundation of Best Buy founder Richard M. Schulze. The Mayo Clinic is providing land on its Southside campus for the lodge, but the 32-room facility will be available for patients seeking cancer treatment at any medical or cancer treatment center in Jacksonville.  
The Jacksonville community responded to the challenge by meeting the match dollar for dollar and the campaign closed with a significant gift from the C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Foundation.  Mrs. Terry has made immeasurable contributions in support of cancer patients and the medical community in Jacksonville funding both capital and patient services, as well as research. With this gift to help make no cost lodging for adult cancer patients and their caregivers a reality in Jacksonville, she feels as though everything has come full circle.  
The hard work and dedication of our volunteers drove this campaign. Long time volunteers and supporters Carter and Cheryl Bryan shared this sentiment, “In all of our years volunteering with the American Cancer Society we have seen the impact our dedication to the mission of the Society has had in the lives of cancer patients. The reality of a Hope Lodge being built in Jacksonville is an accomplishment we are proud of but moreover we are honored to have been a part of helping grow our medical community and break down barriers in accessing treatment for cancer patients.” 
The American Cancer Society could not have met the Schulze challenge without the support of Jacksonville’s philanthropic community. Once the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge of Jacksonville opens its doors, we will improve access to treatment, reduce financial burdens and give hope a home. While the facility has been fully funded, the Society will continue to raise operating funds.  

If you would like to make a gift you can find out more at or call the American Cancer Society here in Jacksonville at (904) 391-3606.

The 32 existing Hope Lodges across the country vary in size but are equipped with a cancer resource and education center, dining room, kitchen, family room, library and laundry facilities. Also, they provide services such as support groups, wigs, and transportation to area hospitals and rely on support from cancer survivor volunteers and community partners.
In Florida, the Society has two lodges already operating — the Winn-Dixie Hope Lodge in Gainesville (1986) and the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge in Tampa (2003).

For more information please contact:
Kellie Ann Kelleher, Campaign Director
Mobile: 617-513-5020
Office: 904-391-3606

Comments are closed.

Showing 0 Comment