Breaking Down Barriers

How donations help ensure the most basic needs of lodging and transportation are met for cancer patients and their families.

The last thing patients and family members at Roswell Park Cancer Institute want to worry about is how to get to treatment or, in the case of out-of-towners, where to stay when they get there. Thanks to a Lodging and Transportation program funded by donor dollars, now they don't have to.

"It can be very frustrating and intimidating when you do not know where to go, where to stay or how you are going to get there," said Rosa Scrivani, LCSWR, Director of Social Work. "We focus on bringing the patient to the Institute to begin treatment and linking him or her with community resources as appropriate."

Nashyya Kadi knows firsthand the assistance the program provides. Her daughter Nabila was 81⁄2 in 2000 when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Kadi does not drive and faced a significant challenge in getting Nabila to and from the Institute every other week for treatment. The family has utilized the service ever since, receiving funds to help defray the cost of traveling to Roswell Park.

The lodging component is also handled on a case by case basis, depending on need. For example, a patient may have had an outpatient appointment but is required to stay overnight. If a family member does not have the immediate resources to provide for lodging, donor dollars will help provide that assistance.

Thanks to a strong relationship with the Hope Lodge, Kevin Guest House, the Doubletree Hotel and other local hotels and guest houses, the Lodging and Transportation program is part of Roswell Park's total commitment to its patients.