New lodge offers welcomed respite

You wouldn’t expect to see smiles and hear laughter when you meet a group of cancer patients, but that is exactly the type of atmosphere found in Tamarack Lodge—the new cancer patient lodge recently opened beside the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.
The reason for the happy mood is due, in large part, to the warm and welcoming presence of Canadian Cancer Society volunteers who assist at the lodge.
“Being away from home while undergoing treatment is difficult,” stated one of the residents staying at the lodge.
“It has everything a fellow could want, except a sauna,” said Howard from Fort Frances.
“The service is very much appreciated,” echoed Ron from Morson, referring to the lunch served by Canadian Cancer Society volunteers.
The lodge opened its doors on Feb. 7.
Canadian Cancer Society volunteers always have played a big part in helping cancer patients from the region while they are in Thunder Bay receiving treatment.
In fact, back in 1971, the Canadian Cancer Society headed a campaign to build Amethyst House Lodge, then once opened, turned the facility over to the cancer centre to operate.
Since that date, society volunteers have participated in making patients feel welcome, and offering support during their stay.
Now that the new lodge has opened, Canadian Cancer Society volunteers haven’t missed a step and were there on day one to welcome the first guests.
The new lodge is located on the fifth floor of the new medical sciences building adjacent to the south entrance of the hospital. It boasts 20 patient rooms, a full kitchen, several gathering rooms, and an outdoor terrace overlooking the city.
The lodge is fully furnished and decorated, and offers a comfortable environment for patients as they receive their treatment.
In fact several patients have commented that the lodge isn’t missing a thing—and that the hospital has made this lodge a wonderful place to stay.
Canadian Cancer Society volunteers provide support for patients staying at the lodge. They offer entertainment and recreational activities, access to information, occasional meals, and friendly conversation.
They organize outings, including movie nights and visits to attractions.
Lodge residents can choose to participate in any or all activities that wish.
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers, whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer.
They are the largest charitable funder of cancer research in Canada, funding the most innovative scientists carrying out research into all types of cancer.
They provide services to cancer patients, reliable information, and support from those who have had a similar experience.
They are the largest, most active cancer organization in Northwestern Ontario.
Tamarack Lodge is open to all cancer patients from Northwestern Ontario requiring treatment in Thunder Bay. There is no charge to stay there.