Retreat for cancer survivors returns

PORT ANGELES — Survivors Outdoor Experience will offer a retreat for cancer survivors in May for the first time in three years.

This year’s event will be on one day only, on May 21 at the Nature Bridge Campus at 111 Barnes Point Road on Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park.

It will mark the 10th Healing Adventure.

“We were preparing to host our 10th Healing Adventure in Pittsburgh in 2020 when COVID came along,” said Jack Ganster, founder and director of Survivors Outdoor Experience (SOE), in a press release.

“And we all know what happened after that.

“Of course, we didn’t realize it [COVID] would take so long to run its course,” Ganster added.

When COVID-19 case numbers dropped from earlier highs in Clallam County, Ganster and SOE board members said they felt the time was right to bring back the program, this time in the region where SOE was founded.

“Folks are ready to move forward. We’ve seen interest and have inquires,” Ganster said.

New for 2022 is a one-day format instead of an entire weekend.

“We decided that people would feel more comfortable for now if they weren’t sharing living space overnight,” Ganster said.

The retreat is free, but space is limited to a dozen people.

To reserve space — or for more information — go to www.survivorsoutdoor or contact Ganster at 360-477-1619 or [email protected]

SOE is an educational and recreational organization that has created programs to provide cancer survivors an opportunity to learn more about the benefits of living a healthy and active lifestyle.

Ganster, a mountaineer, founded the weekend after surviving brain cancer. He was diagnosed 17 years ago.

“The program provides informative presentations balanced with recreational activities to assist participants in gaining strength, confidence, and a sense of the future,” Ganster said in the release.

The 10th SOE Healing Adventure will include a series of presentations: Who is a Survivor?, Sharing our Story, Nature’s Prescription, The Companion’s Story, Self-Advocacy, What now? Navigating Forward and Healthy/Practical Cooking.

Dr. Heath Foxlee, a radiation oncologist, will present for the sixth time.

“I love helping with this program,” Fioxlee said.

“It’s just a wonderful idea to bring folks together to share their stories and to learn more about moving forward.”

The Healthy Cooking program will finish with a meal.

“Food brings us together, sharing a meal is a great way to feel connected,” said Julie Jacobson, chef and presenter.

“And so does nature. It’s just perfect to combine all of these elements.”

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