In April of 2022, four women walked through the doors of Mary’s Place by the Sea as complete strangers; less than 72 hours later, they left as an empowered group of friends. Individually, they are Alicia, Ewlin, Linda, and Sheila. Collectively, they call themselves the No Cancer Sisters.
Mary’s Place by the Sea seeks to eliminate the isolation barrier that women with cancer are facing. Our home serves as a soft place for our guests to land, to heal, and to find solace among others on a similar path. Over the course of a two-night wellness retreat, we watch friendships flourish as our guests find connection with one another by sharing their stories.
A Connection Unlike Any Other
Ewlin described her interaction with the three other women as something that was beyond what anyone else in her life could understand. When dealing with such a life altering diagnosis, it is important to have people on your side that can truly sympathize.
“I didn’t have to explain anything. They knew… I found support and a group of women who just get it. It’s different with the girls because they already know what I’m going through,” said Elwin of her newfound friendships.
Similarly, Linda felt the same as she started her first day here at Mary’s Place. As soon as she was surrounded by like-minded women, she felt a connection. “We didn’t know each other, but I turned to Sheila and said: “We’re going to be friends”. When I met these girls, they were just like me. I knew at that moment that I found my people. I could feel it.”
On the surface, Mary’s Place is a welcoming safe space for women with cancer to heal through holistic treatments and activities, but this home provides so much more once you start your stay. The energy that builds between guests is palpable and it encourages open communication that creates lasting friendships.
You’re Not Alone in Cancer Treatment
This group of women has been through so much together, and it all started at Mary’s Place by the Sea. Sheila urges women to take the leap and see what Mary’s Place can offer you, “There’s so much to talk about and help one another with. The opportunities are here to connect, to identify, to find resources with others who know what you are facing. Don’t miss that opportunity.”
That connection goes beyond providing emotional support for one another, as Alicia spoke about offering tangible advice to one of her Sisters, “I was able to give her information and resources, because I had to go through it myself. I was able to say, ‘this is what I did and you can do it too’. It’s stressful to go through cancer alone, but we don’t have to because we have each other.”
Since their retreat at Mary’s Place last year, the No Cancer Sisters have remained connected through calls and texts, and try to get together on a regular basis. They share stories, support, laughs and a lot of love.
One particularly special reunion was last October. Dressed in hot pink tutus and tightly tied sneakers, Alicia, Ewlin, Linda, and Sheila gathered for their first-ever Mary’s Place by the Sea Walk-A-Thon. Today, they look forward to reuniting for the 12th Annual Mary’s Place by the Sea Walk-A-thon and 5th Annual 5K Run on October 14th, where they will walk with the same community that brought them together. Interested in our events? Check them out here.
The No Cancer Sisters represent the hope that we have for all of our guests: to find a supportive community to bring with them when they leave.
Each member of the No Cancer Sisters shared a similar feeling at last year’s Walk-A-Thon. As they looked around to find nearly 1,000 Mary’s Place by the Sea guests, family, and friends ready to walk in support of women with cancer, they felt the opposite of alone, they felt loved and supported by their very own.
Are you interested in supporting women like the No Cancer Sisters? Help drive our mission forward by volunteering or donating today.