Friday, December 24, 2010

Retreats and Getaways For Cancer Patients and Survivors

A growing body of clinical research shows that our innate ability to heal is deeply intertwined with a fundamental human desire for meaning, purpose and fulfillment. The data emerging from conventional medical research facilities around the world validates what many Eastern and Western mystical traditions have known for centuries: that the body’s physical recuperative abilities can be enhanced by integrative medical approaches that also facilitate mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.

Cancer retreats can be beneficial to a patient's healing process and helpful for caregivers. They provide a nurturing environment, often in a beautiful setting, that promotes stress relief, understanding your feelings, and learning how to cope with a cancer diagnosis in your life. Retreats and camps can be for patients, caregivers, family members, cancer survivors and even healthcare professionals who take care of cancer patients. Check with the program you wish to attend to determine who is eligible to participate and the per person cost.
  • A New Beginning Cancer Retreat holds free retreats year-round in Ellston, Iowa, for cancer survivors of all ages. Family members and friends are also welcome with a charitable contribution requested. For more information, go to or call 641-772-4276.
  • ACS Adventure Weekends offers two retreats per year at the Sargent Center for Outdoor Education near Peterborough, New Hampshire for women with breast cancer. $15. 800-ACS-2345,
  • Dream is a free camp located near Missoula, Montana, for children age 6-17 and young adults age 18-25 with cancer. Camps are held in January and each summer with adult retreats held in the fall. There is a cost for adult retreats. For more information, go to or call 406-549-5987.
  • Camp Sunshine summer camp in Decatur, Georgia, for children with cancer is complemented by year-round programs for the rest of the family. For more information, call 404-325-7979 or go to
  • Commonweal Cancer Help Program retreats are held throughout the year near Bolinas, California. Some scholarships are available. For more information, contact Waz Thomas, program coordinator, at 415-868-0970 or go to
  • Harmony Hill offers 3 day retreats for women survivors, caregivers, lesbians, minority women and men in Olympic Peninsula, Washington. FREE. 360-898-2363, 
  • Hilltop Retreat - 2 day spiritual weekend of renewal sponsored by the Mayo Clinic. Contact Mary Riley at 507-288-8354, $25.Life Beyond Cancer Participants will be selected based on their willingness to take what they have learned back to their communities and become involved in efforts to help others dealing with cancer. Scholarships are available. For more information, go to
  • Life Choices Wellnes Center A renewal retreat for women with breast cance in Saluda, North Carolina. 1-800-439-0083, sliding scale. One week retreats.
  • Mending in the Mountains retreat for women survivors at Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Montana. To assist survivors in rediscovering joy and hope in life; to offer tools for empowering survivors to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of cancer recovery; and to provide nurturing support from others dealing with similar life challenges. For further information please call The Big Sky Cancer Recovery and Resource Center at (406)388-4988
  • Planet Cancer provides free weekend retreats for young adult cancer patients and survivors. The retreats are developed locally with the goal of growing a nationwide support network of young adults with cancer. For more information, call 512-481-9010 or e-mail 
  • Second Wind Retreat located 2 hours north of Atlanta, GA. Rent-free use of cottage to those in cancer treatment. Medical referral needed. 404-348-4986 or 
  • Ski to Live - a 4-day skiing and snowboarding retreat for survivors and their families in Snowbird, Utah. Some scholarships available. Kristen Ulmer, 801-733-5003,
  • Smith Farm Cancer Help Program Retreat is a week-long retreat in Comus, Maryland, for cancer survivors (spouses are welcome) held throughout the year. Scholarships are available. For more information, go to or call 202-483-8600.
  • Stowe Weekend of Hope - One weekend each spring, the town of Stowe, Vermont opens its 55 hotels and lodges to cancer survivors and their families at no charge. AMTRAK provides a limited number of free seats for survivors to get to Stowe from Washington, DC. 1-800-GO-STOWE, 
  • Sunstone Cancer Support Foundation offers numerous cancer retreats in Tucson, Arizona, year-round for cancer survivors and their families. Partial scholarships are available. For more information, go to or contact Nan Rubin at 520-749-1928.

Stevie JoEllie's Cancer Care Fund is working to develop and launch an access to care grant program for thyroid cancer patients and survivors nationwide. Please consider supporting our unique initiative that includes a set aside fund for healthcare access to assist thyroid cancer survivors with medical costs associated with follow up treatment, annual exams,  diagnostics and medications. 

SJCCFThyNet is a project of United Charitable Programs Inc., a 501(c) 3 Public Charity and as such all donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. 


  1. I mean no disrespect, but breast cancer isn't the only one out there. Notice most of these retreats are geared towards it. :(

  2. This is not necessarily so, while some of the listings are indeed for breast cancer survivors it is important to note that many of these locations host cancer survivor retreats in general and it is quite possible to organize a thyroid cancer survivors or patient retreat with a little ingenuity and support from your friends in the thyroid cancer community.