DEKALB COUNTY, Ga — Richard Yancey says he’ll never forget the day he and his wife Linda visited what has become a second home.
“I was in pretty rough shape. I just came from (cancer) treatment that day,” Richard said.
But instead of traveling 100 miles round trip from their Covington home to Atlanta, they have stayed here for three weeks at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge.
“I think it’s so important, after being in the hospital for so long, to actually walk into a real home,” Linda said.
Hope Lodge on the Emory University Campus in Decatur offers a place to stay for patients and their caregivers free of charge.
Some are at the lodge for a few weeks, some for many months. Volunteers take care of most of the meals and transportation to and from the doctor. But after more than 20 years of service, the pandemic forced the doors of this place to close.
“The hardest part came when we had people here for several months, and we had to go door to door. In the next 48 hours, we’re going to have to ask you to leave,” Senior Manager Danny Sheltz said.
Hope Lodge was shut down for 14 months, but during that time, 7 million dollars was invested in a huge renovation. Guest rooms were added and modernized. The kitchen is now much larger. The facility was improved from top to bottom.
A recent ribbon cutting marked a new beginning.
Richard and Linda Yancey say their second home “feels” like a home. “They’ve made it so nice. So comfortable. All we have to do is focus on getting better,” Richard said.
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