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Hope Lodge to offer stays for cancer patients, families

Associated Press Modified: June 27, 2010 at 3:42 am •  Published: June 27, 2010

''There were only two days in all of her treatment I wasn't with her," said Stephens, who spent many nights sleeping on a nursing home floor.

When he heard about Lubbock's bid for a Hope Lodge, he was determined to help. He volunteered, donated -- the library is named for his late wife -- and will soon work as the lodge's operations specialist.

''The concept just captured me because having gone to Houston and spending six months in Dallas, we didn't have anything remotely like that," said Stephens, a retired athletics trainer who later co-owned a Christian bookstore with Sherilyn.

As Stephens helps guests find the strength to fight cancer, he'll have to face the disease again and again, he realizes. Stephens has taken two courses to help him overcome his grief and married his wife, Cindy, earlier this year.

''I have seen how caregivers tend to neglect themselves," Stephens said. "I see myself being able to empathize with and encourage caregivers."

The lodge is now home for his beloved clock, Stephens said. Restarting it will be an emotional event -- something he'll share with the lodge's first guests, he said.

''It's sadness for what happened to our family," he said. "But it's joy that the outcome for some others won't be like that because of what Hope Lodge can accomplish."

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HEALTH/New lodge for cancer patients, families strikes chord in life of man who lost his wife to the disease


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