By David Bern
The Huntsman Cancer Institute Hospital in Salt Lake City will open the doors to its new $102 million addition on Oct. 31 and inside is a therapy room for patients that has been named in honor of the LoToJa Classic.
During the race’s awards ceremony in Jackson on Sept. 11, Brooke Hathaway, development manager of events for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation (HCF), accepted a check for $175,000. The check included fund-raising efforts from LoToJa riders, Huntsman Hometown Heroes’ participants, LoToJa sponsor Autoliv, and from the race organization.
While accepting the over-sized check, Hathaway announced that the hospital’s new 156,000 square-foot wing will have a “LoToJa Therapy Services Room.” The room will be filled with stationary bikes and gym equipment for cancer patients’ use.
“It’s a really cool space,” said Hathaway. “…The new wing opened a lot of opportunities for us to thank the many donors who support the Huntsman Cancer Institute.”
She said it was decided to name the therapy room after the LoToJa in thanks for the race’s fund-raising efforts over the years. The LoToJa began a partnership with the institute and the foundation in 2003. Since then over $700,000 has been donated from the race’s sponsors, the Hometown Heroes program, and cyclists.
LoToJa Race Director Brent Chambers says he was humbled and left speechless after learning about the foundation’s decision to name the room after the race.
“On behalf of the entire LoToJa Family, including sponsors and riders, other than a heartfelt ‘thank you,’ what can I truly say that would appropriately acknowledge this generous gift of recognition?” he asked. “For me, may it further inspire us to continue to raise funds for the fight against cancer, and to extend our hearts, hands and prayers to those who are battling this terrible disease.”
Hathaway said the new wing features 50 in-patient rooms, 25 of which are dedicated to the bone marrow transplant unit and the other 25 to an intensive care unit.
“With the addition, the hospital at Huntsman Cancer Institute will now have 100 in-patient rooms,” said Hathaway. “We’re doubling our space for healing and hope.”
There is also an expanded Cancer Learning Center and Wellness and Survivorship Center, a new Breast Health Center, an intra-operative MRI, of which only 20 exist in the world, a new infusion suite and many other services. Hathaway described the infusion suite as a beautiful space with 31 chairs and a spectacular view of Salt Lake Valley.
The Huntsman Cancer Foundation is the institute’s fund-raising arm. Its charge is to raise a third of the institute’s operating budget, which equates to $10 million to $15 million per year for cancer research.
Hathaway noted that the new addition’s projected cost was $110 million. But the building was completed under budget at $102 million.