Ronald McDonald House of Bangor No Longer Housing Adults

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By Michael Dougherty

Until this past fall the Ronald McDonald House of Bangor was a home away from home for many adults suffering from cancer from the Washington County area. This is no longer the case.

“The Ronald McDonald House of Bangor, like all Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide, has a mission of providing accommodations for families with hospitalized or seriously ill children,” Executive Director Darlene MacLeod said on Thursday. “While we were able to serve families with adult patients in the past, that is no longer possible as we strive to meet the common mission and purpose of Ronald McDonald House Charities.”

While providing lodging to more than 300 families with sick children each year from eastern, northern and central Maine, the Ronald McDonald House of Bangor no longer has the space or resources to accommodate adults seeking cancer treatment in Bangor. “Many families stay with us for several weeks to a few months with premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or other serious illnesses,” says MacLeod.

With the opening of a new pediatric oncology treatment center in Brewer, MacLeod doesn’t predict any beds in this fourteen bedroom house will be available for adults any time in the near future. “We anticipate a greater need for the Ronald McDonald House of Bangor as more families with children with cancer receive treatment at the recently opened outpatient pediatric oncology treatment at Cancer Care of Maine in Brewer.”

What this means for several adult cancer patients who travel to Bangor for treatment is that they are without their usual place to stay. This can add a financial burden to an already stressful time for these patients. For the time being, when an adult seeking lodging contacts the Ronald McDonald House of Bangor, MacLeod and her staff are limited to providing a list of area hotels and phone numbers for facilities that may offer a reduced rate for families dealing with hospitalization.

In the end the news is not all bad says MacLeod, “It is our understanding that The Cancer Hospitality House will open sometime in 2013 at the Riverside Inn location on the campus of Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. The facility will be designed to provide comfortable accommodations to adult patients and their families while receiving treatment at Cancer Care of Maine.”