AVILA BEACH, Calif. - Breast cancer treatment is not fun –but doesn't mean patients don't deserve a break. That's the idea behind Little Pink Houses of Hope, a non-profit organization treating cancer patients to vacations across the U.S. For the first time ever, the organization is offering retreats in the Central Coast.
“The entire family can get away for one week --forget about the scans, the treatment, the doctors. And even the unforeseen future,” explained realtor and volunteer at Little Pink Houses of Hope April Macowicz.
April got involved with the North-Carolina-based group less than a year ago. The org treated her friend Lynette Rivera to a getaway at Lake Tahoe.
“In April of 2014 I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, so it's been a pretty long, difficult journey,” Lynette said.
But Little Pink Houses of Hope has offered Lynette the best medicine --laughter.
“[We went] kayaking, we did hiking, there was bike riding, baseball games, concerts,” the Lompoc resident recalled.
After realizing how her new support group had helped her and her family, Lynette decided to team up with April to bring retreats to the Central Coast.
“It's really nice to connect with other patients that are going through the same thing,” she said. "No one really plans to take a vacation when they're going through their breast cancer journey. So it's just a nice way to let them relax and reconnect as a family and bring them a little bit of joy during a really tough time.”
Eleven families from all over the nation will have the chance to vacation in Pismo Beach and Avila Beach in October. But April said planning the best escape hasn't been a walk at the park.
“Literally, this just happened last week -- we were able to get all the homes needed,” she said.
There's more work to be done, though.
“What we're trying to do is reach out to maybe small business owners that have a kayak shop, or maybe there's someone who has a fishing boat that wouldn't mind taking out people fishing.”
April said they're also hoping for more food or monetary donations, or volunteers.
You can visit Little Pink Houses of Hope's website for more information.