Life Beyond Cancer Foundation's annual retreat would be at the top of my list.
Take a lovely resort setting on Lake Travis outside of Austin, add speakers on almost every conceivable survivorship topic, add in demonstrations on healthy cooking, work-outs, yoga and the survivorship community and you're starting to get the picture.
I forgot to add spa treatments. Not kidding, but more about that later.
This is one of the rare times I wish I were just finishing treatment so I could attend. But I'm not so I did the next best thing: I joined the steering committee. Since February I've worked with Ann Wolford and Natalie O'Roark of the Life Beyond Cancer Foundation, and Pam Walker, R.N. (who graciously stepped up to serve as "Camp Mom"), Mundi Hattenbach, Sandy Smith, Tammy Sayers, Claire Crye, and Chris Perez of U.S. Oncology to plan for the best possible survivorship conference.
Cancer gives us a second chance. The Life Beyond Cancer Foundation retreat aims to help women make the post of it emotionally, spiritually intellectually and physically. Each component is needed to heal and rebuild a life that's been interrupted by a cancer diagnosis, treatment and side affects.
Since applications have closed we're starting to put together a social media plan so you can follow the sessions that interest you the most! It's going to be terrific. Here's just a start on the list -- Heida Adams founder of Planet Cancer & director of grass roots engagement for Livestrong, Dr.Wendy Harpham, physician, survivor and author; and sociologist Brene Brown, who writes a wonderful blog called "Ordinary Courage" and will speak on "living wholeheartedly." I heard her speak at TedXHouston this summer and she completely rocked the house.
And I can't wait to meet CURE Editor-at-Large Kathy La Tour, author, writer, cancer advocate and her talk on "One Mutant Cell."
The Life Beyond Cancer Foundation is just two years old. A newbie, so to speak, in the nonprofit world but hardly small in its progress to date. When I first met Ann on a cold (yes COLD) winter morning, she described a survey the foundation conducted to determine how survivors could best be assisted. The need was overwhelming and clear cut: financial assistance. So that's exactly what the foundation does: award small assistance grants to men and women who are overwhelmed with the financial burden. It also puts together and offers this incredible retreat, which it seeks corporate donations to fund.
More to come. Fighting cancer takes community. My job for this retreat for the next few months (in addition to putting together a talk) is to streamline the way we can share all the information with YOU.