BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Across the country the American Cancer Society has what it calls “Hope Lodges,” which is a free place for cancer patients and their caregivers to stay.
On Tuesday, JCPenney had stylists visit every Hope Lodge in the U.S. to pamper the cancer patients who utilize the free place to stay.
Bill Lonergan, who lives Albany, New York, is being treated in Baltimore for cancer, and is one of many who are staying at the Hope Lodges.
“I know when I need a haircut,” Lonergan said. “I just didn’t know where to go to get one. This is a big support group.”
Nancy Cassell, an Ocean City resident, will be in Baltimore for two months for her cancer treatment.
“Nobody really knows what you’re going through unless you’re going through it, you know,” Cassell said.
“People have been looking forward to this since last week,” Laura Hudgens said. “There was a whole line earlier this morning.”
The patients received haircuts in between shuttle trips to the University of Maryland Medical Center, where they are treated.
“You can see it. Their eyes light up. They’re so happy that we come to them,” JCPenney stylist Carmen Clayton said.
Caregivers also took part in the pampering Tuesday. Pat Caroleo is staying at Hope Lodge with her husband, who’s being treated for prostate cancer.
“Every time I get a haircut I think, ‘oh I don’t like it,’ and then it grows out,” Caroleo said.
“I’m ecstatic with the way it looks, I was looking like a clown there for a while,” cancer patient Denise Fellner said.
More than 24,000 cancer patients and their caregivers were given free lodging last year, which saved patients an estimated $37 million in hotel costs.