Sometimes breast cancer patients and survivors need a break, from doctors, treatment, even from well-meaning friends and everyday life. They need a supportive, nurturing environment where they are surrounded by others who understand what they’ve been through. That’s just what a cancer retreat can offer; rest and refuge, education and encouragement, hugs and laughs among others who will quickly become new, and sometimes lifelong friends. Many organizations offer retreats that last from a weekend to a week long.
Some are completely FREE of charge, while for others you may pay your own transportation. Because of their popularity, there may be waiting lists, so apply early and often if you don’t get in the first time.
- Casting for Recovery offers FREE fly-fishing weekends in 33 states for female breast cancer survivors. Founded on the principles that the natural world is a healing force, you don’t have to know how – or even like – to fly fish; the main goal is bonding. The retreats are held from April to November and also incorporate counseling and educational services with trained facilitators. Participants are selected by lottery, but you can reapply if not selected. Click Here, or call 888-553-3500, to apply.
- Stowe Weekend of Hope is a three-day gathering held each spring in the resort town of Stowe, VT, for both male and female cancer survivors and their families. FREE accommodations are available for first-time guests and most events are free. Activities include educational sessions with top doctors presenting current medical research in all areas of cancer treatments, workshops by cancer type, movement and exercise classes, a 3-mile run and more. Click Here, or call 800-GO-STOWE.
- Little Pink Houses provides FREE week-long beach retreats for breast cancer patients and their immediate families in private homes in 14 locations around the U.S. The aim is to promote recovery and reconnection in a relaxing environment. Meals are served in a common area with other families. Activities include fishing, yoga and parasailing. Babysitting is provided so parents can have a date night. Click Here, or call 336-213-4733.
- Athletes 4 Cancer: In an effort to transform survivor outlook on life and encourage the confidence to thrive, Athletes 4 Cancer sends those diagnosed between age 18-39 on FREE outdoor adventure camp and retreats to find healing, strength and achievement, through surfing, stand up paddling, canoeing, snowboarding and more. You may have to pay transportation to get to locations in Florida, Oregon and Hawaii. Click Here
- Inheritance of Hope: Offers families with children under 18 with a parent who has a life-threatening illness, a FREE fun vacation to build precious memories and interact with other families who understand your challenges. Click Here
- Leslie’s Week: Women with Stage 4 breast cancer are eligible for a FREE vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to enjoy time away from the reality of doctor’s visit, hospitals and cancer therapy thanks to Leslie’s Week. The organization helps families create “memories that outlast cancer”. Apply before May 1. The organization also offers education grants to children whose families have attended a Leslie’s Week Vacation Away from Cancer. Click Here
Good to Know
- Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine sponsors one or two cruises a year complete with speakers, workshops and mastectomy-wear fashion shows. Cruises are not free, but each year they sponsor a contest to give away a FREE cruise. They also offer scholarships to women with stage IV breast cancer. Click Here