Meet some of the newest members of the YACC family

May 1, 2014

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Kathy and Jason Stock tried to use every excuse in the book to avoid coming to Retreat Yourself Ontario 2014: They didn’t have childcare, Jason might not be able to get the time off work, Kathy’s health card was all the way across the room when she started the application form one night, etc. Geoff didn’t give up on them, though, and after a series of fortunate events, they found themselves in downtown Toronto on their way to Northumberland Heights with the rest of the group.

Despite a rocky first night, they had an unimaginable experience, and were kind enough to recap each of their sides of the story for all of us who couldn’t be there.

An excerpt from Kathy’s recap

Thursday night was hard. Not gonna lie. I wondered if I was in the right place–if I had even earned my right to sit amongst such pillars of bravery and seek help from them in my quest to move onward and upward. Had I a vehicle and a close address, I may have found a reason to creep away.

Thank God I was stuck.

The next several days brought about some of the most beautiful I have ever experienced. Since the beginning of my cancer journey 15 months ago, I have never felt as safe to speak my mind and be my real, authentic self as I did in that group. It was so, unbelievably safe, and they got “it,” they “got me,” and I “got them.”

Click here to read the rest!

An excerpt from Jason’s recap

Both Kathy and I were surprised at the variety of people we met on night one. We were in a large circle, sharing our names and our connections/experiences with cancer. Many were still dealing with it, some for the second, third, and fourth time. This scared me. I realized that part of my coping mechanism in “life after cancer” has been to be closed-minded to the possibility of it ever coming back. In doing so, I was withholding support that my wife needed while she single-handedly navigated the stress of being in remission. I didn’t understand why she was nervous about symptoms, scans and blood work. But, truth is, she’s only nine months removed from her battle, and we can’t predict what will happen tomorrow.

Click here to read the rest!

 

Take a little peek

Retreat Yourself events are awesome, fun, hilarious, and more! While it is important to us that we maintain a safe environment at our events where participants feel they are free to be themselves, and while so many images are really just inside jokes, we still want to show off some of the things we did and give you an idea of what we do. Take a look at this album on our Facebook page for the inside scoop!

 

Thank yous

There are a few groups who really helped make this event even better, and we wanted to make sure they knew how much we appreciated them!

Wellspring
We would like to extend a very special thank you to Wellspring Downtown Toronto for their help and contribution in making out Retreat a success. They have generously offered a space for us to wait for the bus, coffee, tea, and muffins–we felt right at home. Not only did they welcome us and made sure we felt good, they invited a comedian from Second City to come and break the ice with us. It was so much fun.

Holly, Dawn, Margaret, and Jessica: A  sincere thank you from all of us at YACC and from our retreaters. You helped us start this Retreat on a great note!

Northumberland Heights
This year was our first Retreat ever in Ontario and we were really lucky to have found the perfect place for our event at a beautiful venue: Northumberland Heights. The space was wonderful, but the energy, ambiance, and hospitality made the difference! Meena is a wonderful host, and made sure we felt like we were at home for four days. The food was healthy and so delicious, the yoga room was amazing, the rooms were big and spacious, and the staff was so respectful and kind. Meena’s flexibility and openness to work with us made this Retreat so amazing! Thank you; we look forward to seeing you again!

Canada Post Community Foundation
Canada Post Community Foundation granted YACC $18,100 in October 2013 to help young adults between the ages of 18-21 access our programs. Their support means six of our 26 participants left Retreat Yourself Ontario with a stronger connection to the YACC community. Thank you!

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