Sanofi US Oncology Sponsors Dinner Gatherings with Hope Lodge Cancer Patients

Nov 23, 2011 9:00 AM ET

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering together, and Sanofi Oncology sales professionals have been sharing evenings of dinner, bingo and crafts with patients staying at American Cancer Society Hope Lodges across the country. There are 31 lodges that provide a free, temporary place to stay for patients undergoing cancer treatment and family members, and each one has or will receive a visit from Sanofi volunteers.

As about 200 colleagues host these Hope Lodge parties, they also learn about their guests’ life stories and treatment at area cancer centers. As one patient from the Baltimore Hope Lodge said, “You don’t always remember what others do for you, but you remember how they make you feel. I was ready to go back to my room and rest, but I’m really glad I joined you. I feel so much better now.”   Here’s a look at just a few of the Hope Lodge parties that have occurred to date. The events will continue through December 5:  
  • The Philadelphia Sanofi Oncology team passed a “thought journal” around to patients during its Hope Lodge event. Patients enjoyed writing their thoughts and expressions of thanks. Some comments were, “Hope Lodge is more than a building. It is a place where people connect and share their lives. It is a place of support and a place of love. It heals the heart, soul and body.” 

  •  Colleagues at the New York City Hope Lodge were touched by the story of a young women battling leukemia they met at their party. She was given two weeks to live in April, just weeks away from receiving her masters’ degree in math. Members of the New York City team and the patient discussed careers in math and accounting. “You would think she would have given up, but the opposite was true. She has HOPE,” said Oncology Sales Professional Lori Gottlieb.

  • John Spinnato, Vice President, North American Corporate Social Responsibility, Sanofi US, joined the New York party. “All of the patients I interacted with were so full of joy and optimism. I came to realize that these are not collective groups of patients, but each are individuals with concerns, needs and hopes. It was truly very inspiring to talk with them.”

  • The Joseph S. and Jeannette M. Silber Lodge in Cleveland, which opened its doors in 1995, is considered a “home away from home” – not just a place to stay. As a special gift to Hope Lodge, the Cleveland District members presented a donation collected from a recent “Jeans and Training Day.”

  • The New Orleans team kicked it up a notch this year and invited a nine-piece classical band from Harry Connick Jr.’s high school, the New Orleans High School for Creative Arts, to play at Hope Lodge. One patient said, “What Sanofi did for us is a true blessing, The music soothed my soul and distracted me from focusing on my cancer.”

  • In Lubbock Texas, the dinner gathering grew from a dozen last year to more than 30 patients and caregivers this year. In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, Sanofi and Hope Lodge colleagues honored caregivers with special thanks and messages of hope.