The Hospitality House at McLaren: Convenient Lodging for Patients to Help with the Healing Process, Relieve Stress

A home-away-from-home

Author: Jasmine Brown

 

Marcus at Hospitality House


"I would tell donors that their money is well spent. Your gift gives someone the opportunity to concentrate on healing as opposed to how they're going to pay their bills. Stress is a detriment to any type of healing. The Hospitality House at McLaren helps relieve that stress. It's a wonderful thing."

As more and more Michigan residents look for innovative and non-invasive cancer care, some face obstacles, including travel demands and overnight lodging accommodations, that can weigh on their minds and on their pocketbooks.

However, McLaren provides a holistic solution through the Hospitality House at McLaren, which benefits patients traveling for health care, including patients at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Flint and the McLaren Proton Therapy Center.

“I did my research and decided to come to Flint for proton beam therapy,” said Marcus Jefferson, a prostate cancer patient and Lansing resident. “I was concerned about the logistics of getting back and forth for treatment Monday through Friday, continuing my job in Rives Junction, and going home to Lansing daily.”

During one of his pre-treatment appointments, he was given information about the Hospitality House at McLaren. So, he drove next door to check it out.

“I was greeted by a couple of helpful and friendly staff members. I received a tour of the facility and was impressed,” said Marcus. “There were places for me and my family to have fun, as well as the business center where I could work on the newspaper that I publish.”

“It was such a pleasure to take care of Marcus and his family,” said Teresa Williams, director of hospitality services. “He was a great house guest from the time he walked in the door. We got to know him, Brittany, and Marcus, Jr., who were always checking in on dad.  We can’t wait to see him back to golf in our August event!”

Marcus’ son and daughter would come to visit him regularly while he was going through treatment. He compared the amenities at the Hospitality House to a resort. He and his kids enjoyed playing ping pong and pool in the game room. Daily, Marcus finished treatment, went back to the House and used the exercise room before he began writing articles for the newspaper.

“I just can’t imagine going through my treatment without the gift of the Hospitality House,” said Marcus. “I was able to switch my work schedule to reduced hours on the weekend. Even then, I worked the graveyard shift. I think I would probably have fallen asleep at the wheel, or gotten into an accident, if my Mondays consisted of getting off of work in Rives Junction, driving back home to Lansing, driving to Flint, receiving treatment, seeing the doctor, and having to drive back to Lansing for the night. There are so many variables on what can happen on the highway.”

Marcus was not only able to make his treatment schedule work by staying at the Hospitality House, but thanks to generous donations, he was able to stay at an affordable rate.

“The gift that donors give is a wonderful thing,” said Marcus. “For me, the constant drive would not have been practical. It was either stay in Flint or quit working. People don’t think about it, but when you’re going through cancer treatment you still must pay the bills: the mortgage, the car note, the utilities. My daughter is 20, but she still needs her dad.

I am so thankful that I had a place to stay at a reasonable rate and was able to concentrate on healing with the support of my family.”

“Being able to tell someone, ‘We got you,’ because our donors have paid it forward for their stay brings those of us at the Hospitality House the greatest joy! Thank you for helping us take care of our extended family,” added Teresa.

If you enjoy golfing, join the McLaren Flint Foundation on August 9, 2021, as they host the annual McLaren Golf Classic. This golf event is a “Day of FUNdraising” that benefits the Hospitality House at McLaren. For more information and how to register, visit mclaren.org/flintgolfclassic.

If golfing is not a hobby of yours, here are five ways you, your family and friends can support patients like Marcus who need lodging as they receive health care on McLaren Flint’s campus.

To further support the Hospitality House at McLaren, you may submit a gift online at mclaren.org/flintfoundationdonate. For other ideas on how you may make a difference for a patient and their family, call (810) 820-9800.