PHOENIX (Nov. 8, 2021) – A group of committed community leaders has joined the Banner Health Foundation to offset the cost of safe, clean, local lodging for cancer patients who travel to Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center for treatment. The Home Away from Home campaign is building a permanent endowment to provide enduring support to patients who live beyond a safe distance from the Cancer Center.
From Nov. 11-14, the Home Away from Home Campaign Committee is inviting the community—individuals, families, and business—to make a tax-deductible donation to this charitable fund. Gifts up to $60,000 will be generously matched dollar-for-dollar by the John and Kathleen Graham Family and Cox Communications.
Many cancer patients travel from far outside the Valley and even outside of Arizona for the expert care, clinical trials, and integrative support uniquely offered at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. Certain treatment protocols require these patients to stay near the Cancer Center for weeks or even months during their treatment and follow-up care, at their own cost—a significant and sometimes insurmountable barrier for many patients and their care partners.
Navigators and social workers at the cancer center have discovered unsettling stories about patients sleeping in cars, in dangerous or unsanitary areas, or, in the case of stem-cell transplant patients, well outside the safe distance required post-transplant, all because the cost of a hotel was simply out of reach.
Previous low-cost housing options that were available for cancer patients, including the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in Phoenix and other nonprofit residences, have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving precious few options for those needing safe, affordable, temporary housing. Without a place to stay, many patients end up skipping important treatments and follow-up care, including post-operative care, daily radiation therapy, and critically important monitoring after a stem-cell transplant.
“Fighting cancer is an exhausting battle,” says Home Away from Home Campaign Chair John Strittmatter, who also serves on the Banner Health Foundation board of directors. “It takes every bit of strength a person has, and treatment costs are often not fully covered by insurance—adding stress during an already stressful time. We are committed to giving these patients a safe place to rest their heads at night and a bit of comfort and relief during the fight of their lives.”
In partnership with the Banner Health Foundation, the Home Away from Home Campaign is led by Christine Bayer, Marcus Bolland, Dennis Desmond, John Graham, Jim Mahoney, Don Miner, Brian Smuckler, Mo Stein, John Strittmatter, and Jeff Pitcher.
Community members can support the Home Away from Home Campaign and have their gifts doubled Nov. 11-14 by donating online at give.bannerhealth.com/homeawayfromhome. Checks may be mailed to Banner Health Foundation, 2901 N. Central Ave. Suite 160, Phoenix, AZ 85012; please note “Home Away from Home” on the memo line. To donate stock or other assets, contact Linda Lotz at 512-751-7830.
About Banner Health Foundation
Established in 2001, the Banner Health Foundation engages the community and stewards charitable contributions to advance Banner Health’s nonprofit mission of making health care easier so life can be better. Contributions are invested locally to support patient care programs and services operated by Banner’s many hospitals and health care facilities across Arizona. For more information, please visit www.bannerhealthfoundation.org.