Northern families to benefit from new cancer lodge

27 May 2011

Prince George -

B.C. has committed $2 million towards the $10-million capital campaign for the Kordyban Lodge to support cancer patients and their families.

The 2,323 square-metre (25,000-square-foot), 36-bed lodge will offer accommodation for individuals and their caregivers travelling to the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North and will serve cancer patients from communities throughout Northern B.C.

The lodge will provide full-meal services as well as other features to support patients, including a family room, the spiritual and meditation room, a lounge, massage therapy room, library, activity room, an exercise facility, and wig and prosthetics rooms.

Construction on the lodge is expected to start in July and it is scheduled to open to patients at the same time as the Centre for the North, in the fall of 2012.

The Kordyban Lodge is named to recognize a $2-million donation from the Mary Kordyban Foundation. This single largest private donation honours the memory of longtime Prince George resident and business owner Bill Kordyban. The lodge’s Novak Family Spiritual and Meditation Room and the West Fraser Timber Lounge are named in honour of $1-million gifts from the Novak family and West Fraser Timber.

The lodge will support cancer patients from rural communities across the North and reflects government’s commitment to ensure the provision of services, including access to health care, is looked at through a rural lens. The Kordyban Lodge is also an important component of the Province’s $106-million Northern Cancer Control Strategy, a partnership of the Province, BC Cancer Agency, Provincial Health Services Authority and Northern Health. The strategy is focused on reducing the impact of cancer in the North, and includes a range of prevention, detection and cancer care services.

Quotes:

Shirley Bond, Prince George-Valemount MLA:

"The new cancer centre will provide top-notch care to residents from the North, closer to home; and, the Kordyban Lodge helps complete the package by providing accommodation for patients who need to travel to the cancer centre for care. Northern families will have the chance to support one another during very challenging times. I am deeply grateful to everyone who contributed to create the Kordyban Lodge and am proud that our government has become an important partner."

Pat Bell, Prince George-Mackenzie MLA:

"The lodge is a great example of the investments we are making to support cancer care and treatment across northern B.C. Through our multifaceted cancer strategy we are ensuring that patients have access to the latest advances in cancer care as close to their home communities as possible."

John Rustad, Nechako Lakes MLA:

"A cancer diagnosis can have a devastating impact on families, and having supports to allow patients to stay closer to home can make a huge difference. This new lodge will have all the comforts of home and will mean one less worry for families when a loved one needs to travel for cancer care."

Leonard Schein, chair, board of directors, Canadian Cancer Society BC and Yukon:

"On behalf of the board, I would like to first thank the Northern Lodge Capital Campaign Cabinet lead by chair, Henry Novak for their remarkable work in raising funds so quickly for the Kordyban Lodge. Second, I would like to thank the local MLAs Pat Bell and John Rustad and in particular, Shirley Bond for all their assistance in helping to secure this $2-million grant. And lastly, to thank our Minister of Health, Michael de Jong and our new Premier of B.C., Christy Clark for their financial commitment to the North and especially its families."

Dr. Charles Jago, Northern Health board chair:

"The Kordyban Lodge is just one aspect of our Northern Cancer Control Strategy to strengthen cancer care delivery for residents of the North. Northern Health appreciates the strong support for this cause from so many private donors and the Province."

Mary Kordyban, Mary Kordbyban Foundation:

"When illness threatens families it’s natural for life’s priorities to change. The Kordyban Lodge will serve as a vital component to those on a cancer journey and we are honoured to have it named after our family."

Quick Facts:

• One in three British Columbians will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime, with about 22,000 new cancer patients in B.C. projected in 2011.

• More than 1,000 of these patients will reside in the North.

• The B.C. Cancer Agency predicts that in the next ten years, new cancer diagnoses in the North will rise by more than 38 per cent.

• When it is complete in the fall of 2012, the new 5,000-square-metre (54,000-square-foot) BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North will become the sixth regional cancer centre in B.C.

Learn More:

For more information on the BC Cancer Agency for the North and the Northern Cancer Control Strategy, please visit www.bccancer.bc.ca.

For more information on the Canadian Cancer Society please visit, www.cancer.ca.

BC Government contact:
Ryan Jabs
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Catherine Loiacono

Manager, Media Relations

Canadian Cancer Society

Phone: 604-675-7340