The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has selected a Houston-based cancer patient support group, Dan's House of Hope, to receive ASTRO's 2015 Survivor Circle grant. The organization will receive $8,500 to recognize its efforts and provide direct support for the organization's work assisting cancer patients and their families. The group will also be in attendance at ASTRO's 57th Annual Meeting, October 18-21 at the Henry B. González Convention Center in San Antonio.
"ASTRO is proud to continue to sponsor the Survivor Circle Grant Program, a funding initiative that provides gifts of financial assistance to cancer support organizations in the state hosting our Annual Meeting," said ASTRO President Bruce D. Minsky, MD, FASTRO. "Dan's House of Hope exemplifies the tenets of the program by supporting cancer patients, their families and their caregivers from diagnosis through survivorship. ASTRO is honored to award this organization with a grant to help patients aged 15 to 39 experience a home-away-from-home as they receive treatment."
Based in Houston, Dan's House of Hope provides a place to live, as well as programs and home-away-from-home services, for older adolescents and young adults, who have cancer and are being treated at the Texas Medical Center. The organization's mission is to "reduce isolation, decrease financial burden and nourish hope." Each year it gives free temporary housing close to the Texas Medical Center to 250 patients and caregivers, to prevent patients from having to travel long distances for cancer treatments, which saves them money and allows them to continue to live their lives.
Guests receive a bedroom and private bath, laundry facilities, a kitchen area and community space to promote interaction with other older adolescents and young adults with cancer. They can also take part in the programs and social activities that the organization offers, such as a Young Adult Cancer Support Group, outings to sporting events and yoga classes. Nutritious breakfasts and some evening meals are also provided.
"The funds will be used to pay for non-administrative operating and programming expenses," said Roger and Dawn Kenneavy, of the ASTRO Survivor Circle grant. Roger is co-founder and a member of the Advisory Council Directors of Dan's House of Hope. Dawn is cofounder, president and sits on the board of directors of Dan's House of Hope.
Their son, Dan, who died at age 20 of osteosarcoma in 2009, initiated the conversations and planning for what is now Dan's House of Hope. While the organization bears their son's name, the Kenneavys say that its legacy is one that honors the lives and memories of all young adults, who have, are currently, or will battle cancer as young adults. On the organization's web site, http://danshouseofhope.org, Roger and Dawn write about how Dan spent 408 days living away from home while receiving cancer treatment. Time away from home prevented him from receiving support from family and friends, while his age, at 18, made him too old for most home-away-from-home programs for children and their families. He and his parents had the option of staying in a hospital room, an apartment, or a hotel room near the hospital during his treatment, options which were often expensive and socially distancing.
"Through our own experiences and the experiences of families we met in our travels, we witnessed first-hand how depleting and heavy the emotional and financial burdens of living away from home can be in the pursuit of necessary treatments," Roger and Dawn wrote on the website. "Dan's House of Hope helps young adults fighting cancer heal through community, supportive programming and home-away-from-home services that reduce isolation, decrease financial burdens and nourish hope."
American Society for Radiation Oncology