FRISCO, TEXAS – On Tuesday, March 1, the Dallas Cowboys will celebrate "National Share a Smile Day" with a visit to the American Cancer Society Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge to engage with cancer patients currently staying at the care facility located near Baylor University Medical Center utilizing the team's new telepresence robot.
Nicknamed "Cowboys Starbot," the robot will allow Dallas Cowboys players, alumni, cheerleaders, executives and others to visit with patients remotely in an innovative and safe manner. Incorporating video conferencing technology into a remote-controlled platform, the robot provides a tangible structure for virtual interfaces.
"The Dallas Cowboys are excited to add Cowboys Starbot to our team," said Charlotte Jones, the Cowboys' exexcutive vice president and chief brand officer. "He provides our players and so many others in our organization a fun and different way to interact with fans that may be immune-compromised or require distancing due to ongoing pandemic issues."
During Tuesday's launch visit, Jones will be joined by other Dallas Cowboys guests over the course of the one-hour video call. Hope Lodge guests will also be able take selfies with the special guests via Starbot and help themselves to "National Share a Smile Day" stickers and lip balm provided by Cowboys partner Jack Black.
The American Cancer Society Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge officially welcomed its first guests in Fall 2021. The facility offers cancer patients and their caregivers a home away from home while traveling to receive care from any of North Texas' premier medical centers.
The Hope Lodge is located on property donated by Baylor Scott & White Health adjacent to its Baylor University Medical Center campus. The American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge capital campaign, conducted in collaboration with Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation, surpassed its fundraising goal with extraordinary support from generous individuals and organizations. As lead donors, the Gene and Jerry Jones Family understand the impact this disease can have within a family and community.
"Our Hope Lodge program offers a home away from home for cancer patients travelling to Dallas for treatment, providing more than 18,000 nights of free lodging a year," said Jeff Fehlis, executive vice president for the American Cancer Society's South Region. "The American Cancer Society is committed to breaking down access to care barriers like lodging and ensuring all people have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer."
Tuesday marks the first of many visits that Cowboys Starbot and the Dallas Cowboys plan to make to Hope Lodge. The team intends to virtually visit the facility on the first Tuesday of every month for the foreseeable future.