NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- City of Hope on Tuesday celebrated the opening of its first Orange County location.
The president of City of Hope Orange County, Annette Walker, said it was an investment to serve the community because 20 percent of people in the county diagnosed with cancer left the area for treatment.
"That $1 billion investment will include this site as well as our major site in Irvine and there will be two other sites in Orange County, one in south county and one in central county," Walker said.
According to Walker, 3,200 patients in Orange County made their way to City of Hope's Duarte location to seek care for cancer last year.
Walker said the services coming to Newport Beach are for everyone.
"City of Hope has a long heritage of taking care of the community. It's in our roots. I mean, when we first opened as a TB sanitarium in the early 1900s we went to take care of people who had nowhere else to go. City of Hope does not discriminate on who we treat. We treat people who have cancer," Walker said.
Kandance McMenomy knows first-hand the importance of fighting cancer close to home.
The two-time cancer survivor said the battle itself was hard enough, but when you add L.A. traffic to the commute for treatment at City of Hope in Duarte, it gets tougher.
"You have to have your bloodwork and your shots and meet with your oncologist or the P.A. so it can be a six hour day and then rushing back to get back to work," McMenomy said.
McMenomy was excited to hear others in her community will have City of Hope in their backyard.
Leading the group of oncologists working at the facility will be the medical oncology chairman, Dr. Ravi Salgia.
Salgia said cancer specialists were ready to provide care with more available to come to Newport Beach as needed.
"For example, for lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer myeloma, certain leukemias," Salgia said.
The Orange County center is scheduled to begin receiving patients on Monday.
City of Hope opens cancer center in Newport Beach, the nonprofit's first facility in Orange County