Premier Christy Clark joined representatives of the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon today to officially open the Kordyban Lodge, a home away from home for northern cancer patients and their caregivers.
"The Kordyban Lodge will provide cancer patients with a bright, spacious place to call home while they receive treatment at BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North," said Clark. "A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, but a supportive environment closer to friends and family can make a huge difference."
The Canadian Cancer Society's 2,323 square-metre (25,000 square-foot), 36-bed lodge provides full-meal services and includes a variety of other features to support guests. These include a family room, spiritual and meditation room, a lounge, a massage therapy room, library, activity room, an exercise facility, and wig and prosthetics rooms.
"We are committed to ensuring the very best supports for cancer patients and their families, no matter where in the province they live," said Lorraine Grant, board chair, Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon. "Today is an exciting day for the North. Kordyban Lodge is the fourth Canadian Cancer Society lodge in B.C., joining other lodges in Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna."
In May 2011, the government of B.C. announced $2 million towards the $10-million capital cost of the Kordyban Lodge. The lodge was also supported by many donations from the community. The Kordyban Lodge is named in recognition of the single largest private donation - $2-million from the Mary Kordyban Foundation. 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 Foundation and West Fraser Timber.
"I am honoured that the lodge bears our family's name and am pleased to see our desire for a home away from home for northern cancer patients become a reality," said Mary Kordyban of the Mary Kordyban Foundation. "This facility will provide a safe and supportive environment for patients who are battling this disease and will help ensure that patients can stay close to family and friends."
The $91.5-million BC Cancer Agency Cancer Centre for the North opened on Nov. 1, 2012 and is the sixth regional cancer centre in the province. Like the Centre for the North, the Kordyban Lodge is an important component of the $106-million Northern Cancer Control Strategy, a partnership of the government of B.C., the BC Cancer Agency, the Provincial Health Services Authority and Northern Health. The strategy is focused on improving cancer care throughout the North, and includes a range of prevention, detection and cancer-care services.
"Many northern families have been impacted by cancer and the Kordyban Lodge will mean one less worry for cancer patients and their families," said Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond. "It is also important to note that we would not be here today without the support of local residents and businesses who have given so generously to make the lodge a reality. Days like today remind me why I am so proud to live in this part of British Columbia."
"This year alone, approximately 1,400 northern B.C. residents are expected to be diagnosed with some form of cancer," said Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Pat Bell. "The new BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North and the Kordyban Lodge are perfect examples of how we are working to improve vital health services and supports for northern families."
"My wife had cancer in 2000 and we utilized the lodge in Vancouver during this difficult period. It was a tremendous benefit to us, as I know it has been to many other patients," said Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad. "The opening of the Kordyban Lodge is great news for families throughout the region, who will have access to support services that make such a difference for those undergoing cancer treatment."
Office of the Premier
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)
Manager, Media Relations
Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon
604 802-2321 (cell)