Diagnosed on June 15, 2009 at the age of 39 with Stage III HER 2 positive Breast Cancer, Jeanine Patten-Coble went through traditional treatment including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. During the course of her treatment she found a gap outside of traditional medical options. Women were going through treatment alone, and families couldn’t participate. She felt Cancer didn’t just affect the patient, it affected the entire family, and she wanted to create an environment where families could relax, reconnect and get back to being a family.
The idea came to her while on a family vacation the day after learning of her diagnosis. Jeanine says she feels starting Little Pink Houses of Hope was a God calling for her and her family. Their goal was to provide services for families touched by breast cancer, so they could all embrace the new normal.
Travel arrangements are the responsibility of the participant families, but their program is free of charge and includes a one week stay in donated homes. This year alone they will host 120 families in 14 different retreats. Accommodations, food, services & programs like kayaking, golf, jewelry making classes, massage, fishing, sailing, concerts, carnivals, hang-gliding, paddle boarding, fishing, crafts, child care & games are all provided free of charge. Activities vary at each retreat based on donated services.
Jeanine says, “All participants are currently in treatment, so the cancer bomb has just gone off in their homes. It’s a chance for families to push the pause button on cancer. They’re all searching for other people going through the same things. Husbands bond with other husbands, the kids bond with each other, and they stay in touch after the retreat. It’s an amazing environment, very impactful.”
How can you help? There are always opportunities to serve as volunteers, (cooking, cleaning, program development), Administrative tasks, providing meals and beach supplies, and team-partners (liaisons). You can participate in a fundraiser. They are always looking for family and volunteer sponsors, donations of retreat housing and supplies, auction items, and fundraising event support. Every financial donation is important and makes a difference in fulfilling their mission. Donations can be made through the Little Pink Houses of Hope website, and through purchases at Amazon Smile. They have retreats in FL, NC, SC, DE, AL and MD. Their website is www.littlepink.org