A local cancer survivor from Russellville is giving back to a program that helped her during her time of need, and also wants people here to know about the fantastic place that assisted her through her treatment.

Retired teacher Maydeen Bailey wants everyone to know about the American Cancer Society’s Memorial Foundation Hope Lodge in Nashville, which will let people receiving cancer treatment in Nashville stay in the facility free of charge throughout the course of treatment.

Bailey stayed at the Hope Lodge for a month and a half in 2012 when she was undergoing her first round of cancer treatment and again in 2017 when she had to go back for another round of treatment.

“It lets you focus on the most important thing — getting better while you are taking your treatments,” Bailey said. “It is just so helpful not having the stress of driving to and from Nashville while you are taking your treatments.”

Bailey said that it doesn’t matter which Nashville hospital a patient is receiving treatment at — they can still stay at the Hope Lodge.

During her time there, she made friends from all over — including as far away as South America.

“I am still in touch with several of them,” Bailey said. “There were people there from all walks of life.”

You do have to be 18 in order to stay at the Lodge and must be referred by a doctor or social worker.

The Lodge does not include any meals. Bailey said that each resident has space in a refrigerator for their own food, but many meals are prepared by volunteer groups, organizations and individuals.

“Those meals mean a lot to the people there,” she said.

And so, Bailey is planning to provide a meal to the residents next week on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

“I just wanted to be able to give back,” she said. Several in the community are helping her with that. Including a drive to collect Lysol wipes — one of several items on a wish list at the Hope Lodge to help residents out.