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Man fighting cancer also fighting to stay in hotel

Posted at 8:55 AM, Nov 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-09 08:55:19-05

KOKOMO, Ind. — A Kokomo man living out a suitcase while he undergoes cancer treatment said he was told he no longer has a place to live.

Stephan Weidner is staying at an Extended Stay America on the city's north side. The company has a partnership with the American Cancer Society that allows people to stay during treatments. 

But the hotel said he and his three dogs have to move out on Monday.

Weidner has stage three prostate cancer. His treatment will involve hormone therapy, surgery to remove his prostate and radiation therapy.

"Here I am in my mid-40s and looking down the barrel of severe cancer," Weidner said.

Weidner was accepted into the American Cancer Society partnership with Extended Stay America, but first he made his own reservation. 

A spokesperson for Extended Stay said because Weidner made the initial reservation, once the American Cancer Society got involved, they made Weidner a new reservation at a different location across town.

"For me to move I will have to make about three trips to the other side of town," Weidner said. "I brought with me -- for business -- my food and kitchen utensils."

Weidner said he was told he'll have to move again each week for the foreseeable future.

"I don't have other lodging options - I've been pursuing alternatives just in case things fall apart," he said.

RTV6 first met Weidner when he volunteered to help a veteran on Indianapolis' south side clean his backyard.

"It's kind of been nice to take a little of the focus off my situation and help somebody else grow forward," he said.

PREVIOUS | Community members help veteran clean up his backyard

After RTV6 reached out to Extended Stay, the company said Weidner will be allowed to stay in the room until the end of the month at the American Cancer Society rate, but it's unclear where he will go after that.

"I'd love to have a place to cook a turkey - love to have a place to set up a Christmas tree," Weidner said.

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