LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Fighting cancer is already scary and stressful. Now, imagine navigating treatments during a pandemic. One Little Rock non-profit is helping cancer patients stay safe while getting the treatment they need.
In September, Victoria Cooper found out she had a brain tumor.
“We were shocked to say the least,” Cooper said.
As she was figuring out the next steps to battle cancer, she was also trying to dodge the deadly virus sweeping the country.
“It’s been really difficult,” Cooper said.
She lives three and a half hours from Little Rock, where she needs to get her treatments. One of her biggest concerns is where she would live while also staying safe from COVID-19. That’s where the 20th Century Club came in.
“We have not missed a beat in providing lodging and we intend to keep our doors open because Cancer does not stop for COVID,” 20th Century Club President Becky Marks said.
The lodge is a no-cost housing facility for cancer patients like Cooper. Marks said since the pandemic, they’ve added even more precautions to keep their residents healthy.
“Everyone of course gets a temperature check. They wear a mask at all times and we are wearing gloves,” Marks said.
One of the biggest changes is keeping patients isolated. Normally they would be able to roam the halls and have meals together. Now, they spend their days in their rooms with breakfast, lunch and dinner delivered to their door.
“We are missing that personal component where we normally get to sit in the dining room and visit with the patients, get to know them, get to know their caregiver and just generally offer support,” Marks said.
Cooper says the changes help put her mind at ease.
“To be able to quarantine and protect and keep the immunities. My levels have stayed above average throughout treatment,” Cooper said.
This helps her focus solely on treatments to ultimately get that clean bill of health.
“They have bent over backwards for us in every way. It’s like angels here,” Cooper said.
So far, the 20th Century Club hasn’t had any positive COVID-19 cases. They do have an app that tracks who each patient comes into contact with in case they need to contact trace.