By Megan Kuharich
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In honor of the NFL's "Pink October" initiative, the Tennessee Titans hosted a dinner at the American Cancer Society Memorial Foundation Hope Lodge on Monday night for patients, families and caregivers.
Guard Dennis Kelly, defensive lineman Karl Klug and wide receiver Marc Mariani joined in on the evening of food and fellowship. The trio participated in a Q&A session with Hope Lodge guests, raffled off prizes and finished with words of encouragement.
"They have some serious battles that they're fighting," Mariani said. "They go through some hardships and to be able to come, distract them, put a smile on their face, and hang out and just enjoy a couple hours is a really cool feeling."
According to its website, the Memorial Foundation Hope Lodge provides lodging at no cost on a first-come, first served basis to cancer patients and a caregiver during their course of treatment. The facility not only decreases the financial burden, but also offers a much needed support system and positive environment.
"To be able to stay here at no charge and use all of the facilities is a huge, tremendous financial help to me, because my work is cut down a little bit from all of the appointments I have to come to," patient Susan Williams said.
The Hope Lodge services include a private room with bath and television, a shared kitchen, library, dining room, living room and laundry room. The facility also provides free daily transportation to and from treatment centers.
Click HERE to learn more about the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge program.
Titans players Dennis Kelly, Marc Mariani and Karl Klug dine, interact with cancer patients at Memorial Foundation Hope Lodge. (Photos: Gary Glenn)