By Michelle Cyr-Whiting
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 11:47 AM
Architect's rendering of the Northern Cancer Lodge
Prince George, B.C. - The Canadian Cancer Society’s National President and CEO is in Prince George to see, first-hand, the local branch’s involvement in the Northern Cancer Control Strategy...
The society is taking a leadership role in establishing a Northern Cancer Lodge to support those undergoing treatment at the future Northern Cancer Treatment Centre. The lodge is estimated to cost between $12- and $13-million dollars, at this point -- its opening is hoped to coincide with the opening of the cancer centre in December of 2012.
President and CEO, Peter Goodhand, says the Canadian Cancer Society has between 12 and 15 similar facilities set up across the country. He says the lodges are “in essence, a home” for patients undergoing cancer treatment and their families – he says the environment needs to support people in the middle of treatment. He points out that in northern and rural areas, many patients must leave their homes to get treatment in an urban centre.
Margaret Bricker-Jones, Regional Manager for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Northern Region, says, “The lodge is a critical component to making the treatment centre a reality.” She says, “In order to have people treated here, they would need to have somewhere to stay.”
Goodhand says the Northern Cancer Lodge will be a real reflection of the north that will make it unique.
So far, the local branch has secured a $500-thousand dollar ‘gift’ of land from the City of Prince George in Alward Park at the corner of 12th Avenue and Alward street for the lodge’s future site. And Bricker-Jones says the society is in negotiations for a $2-million dollar cornerstone gift that would give the donor naming rights to the lodge.
She says the public portion of the fundraising campaign will begin soon across the north and the society continues to actively seek assistance from both the federal and provincial government to realize this dream.