A Louisville woman is on a mission to ease the burden of those battling cancer. A new website launched this week is helping family and friends find lodging while loved ones are hospitalized. WAVE 3's Lori Lyle reports.
In a small cemetery behind her childhood home is a memorial to Ann Calahan's late husband, Joe. He died of cancer seven years ago, and like so many survivors, Ann wanted to do something to make a difference in the lives of those still in the battle.
For almost two years now, Ann has been working on completing another tribute to Joe, a webpage with information on "how to make reservations, what rates are, amenities."
The site, www.joeshouse.org, is a place to find lodging while your loved one is getting cancer treatment.
Ann remembers the years Joe fought cancer, and also remembers a sense of "desperation. All you want to do is get the best treatment you can ... you hope and pray will work."
So Ann traveled to Texas and New York with Joe, but sometimes it wasn't easy finding a convenient place to stay. "It was cumbersome," Ann says. "It's just one of those things you don't need to worry about/"
She's hoping www.joeshouse.org will ease that worry for other families fighting cancer, because even though there is alot of help out there, "there's no cohesive place where you can consolidate all of that -- from free rooms to regular hotel rooms to people's homes."
The doors of www.joeshouse.com opened a few days ago in honor of Ann's husband. "He never knew a stranger."
With 24 listings so far, Louisville is among his first guests. "The Galthouse has a Joes' House availabilty screen. "So it has room rate that has Joe's House rates.
But if Louisville isn't the destination, you won't be turned away."
"I steered her towards American Cancer Society's hope lodge, which are like Ronald McDonald houses for adults, which she didn't know anything about. So it's already working."