This year in the United States, more than 15,000 families will hear the dreadful news that no parent wants to hear – their child has been diagnosed with cancer. As they make their way through treatment, they will face countless battles on top of the cancer battle their child is fighting. Moms and dads might seldom see one another. Mounting medical costs can be overwhelming. Siblings might feel a loneliness from an understandable lack of attention. Because of these realities and so many more, the family bears unimaginable weight and is exposed to profound risk. And that’s where Lighthouse Family Retreat aims to help.
Lighthouse Family Retreat is a faith-based non-profit that exists to strengthen families living through childhood cancer. They host restorative beach retreats and develop valuable resources so that families and their support systems can find hope in God and help in their fight.
In 2000, Lighthouse hosted the first retreat for six Retreat Families in Tybee Island, Georgia. Over the years Lighthouse has grown to serve thousands of families with the help of tens of thousands of volunteers and Family Partners.
Southern Professionals’ own Waylon Smith, and his family, are one of the Family Partners who helped serve over 200 families in the summers of 2018 and 2019. Family Partners spend countless hours serving families by doing their laundry, carrying their plates at mealtime, and by being the hands and feet of Jesus all week long. One of the most important parts of Lighthouse Family Retreats, is to make sure the kids NOT going through treatment have a super FUN week and get a TON of ATTENTION. In many cases they do not get the attention their families desperately want to give to them. This week is just as important for the non-cancer patients as the children going through treatment. The parents are over-joyed to see these children have so much fun during Lighthouse.
Because of Lighthouse, families are receiving a much-needed week of rest, relaxation and restored hope! If you would like more information about Lighthouse Family Retreat, check out their website https://www.lighthousefamilyretreat.org/.