Survivor who launched cancer facility turns 100


The Holocaust survivor who started a network of free residential facilities for cancer patients undergoing treatment turned 100.

Coinciding with Margot Freudenberg’s landmark birthday on Aug. 8, the American Cancer Society was set to drastically increase the number of facilities in its Hope Lodge Network. Twelve are slated to be built, including one in New York City, to add to the existing 22.

Though her vision and fund raising, Freudenberg launched the first facility in her hometown of Charleston, S.C. She had seen similar facilities during a trip to New Zealand as a People to People ambassador.

After she and her family fled Nazi Germany in 1940 and arrived in the United States, her sister was diagnosed with the brain cancer that would claim her life. Freudenberg then began her strong commitment to the cancer society, starting as a door-to-door canvasser, according to longtime friend Ruth Patterson.

Freudenberg still gives her time to the Charleston lodge residents.

“I’ve never seen such a selfless, more dedicated person,” Patterson said, explaining that she only allowed the cancer society to honor her 100th birthday after being informed that the proceeds of an Aug. 9 gala would benefit the lodges.

Recommended from JTA