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I was introduced to Adventure Therapy Foundation late last year but only recently became friends with the founder, Lauren. She is a soft-spoken, sweet mama of three girls and a FORCE OF NATURE! She has been fighting terminal/metastatic breast cancer for six years. We connected over a shared goal of helping families and women battling cancer. In addition, we share an “irrational optimism” (her words) and a lust to live an extraordinary life (my words). I’m lucky enough to be one of the certified coaches her foundation uses to work with women as the emotional toll of cancer can be crippling. As a result, the foundation offers this coaching for free before the family goes on their “Adventure.”
Before we left, we received a package with t-shirts, goodies, $250 worth of gift cards, and an instruction list. Later, we packed up the car and drove to Tracy City, Tn, to stay in the “adventurer” tiny home. The home was perfect, cozy, and surrounded by trails, waterfalls, and the oldest bakery in Tennessee. I think it’s important to mention that we tried 7 of the bakery items, and the coffee cake was the winner!
The instruction list in our package highlighted the best places to eat, hike, and shop. Most importantly, the most critical info for families was right on the first page. The instructions actually told us to TALK ABOUT CANCER! Talking is brilliant. This is just one of the ways that we can take control of the emotional toll of cancer and quell the isolation. The retreat was the ideal setting for us to find beautiful spots to sit and talk. Sitting around the firepit at the end of each day allowed us to connect and reflect in a way that we don’t do at home. It was healing (even if starting a fire was hard)!
This trip gave me the gift of leaving my anxiety and fear at home. I felt empowered and strong hiking, climbing, and building a fire with my family. Funny enough, It was my first time making a fire, and I used an entire journal of Rob’s and half of Simera’s sketchbook before we had a solid flame. I plan to do better next time! LOL
I hope Greta remembers how hard it was to hike the wet, steep hill to the waterfall and how magical it was to hear it roaring in our ears. Simera may soon forget how much she loved the University of the South and planned her entire college experience as we walked around the castle-like buildings. She certainly won’t forget the ice cream at Scoop. Rob will never forget the pillows in the tiny house and already wished for them for Christmas! None of us will forget the bond that this trip offered to our family or the great stuff we got at Piggly Wiggly.
If you or someone you know would benefit from the coaching and retreat that Adventure Therapy Foundation provides free of charge, take a peek and enjoy the ADVENTURE!
Would you mind sharing this DREAM of minimizing the emotional toll that cancer takes on families?
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