Burlington -- In 2009, Jeanine Patten-Coble was diagnosed with breast cancer. The very next day, she left for her family beach trip.
She and her husband were dreading telling their son the news so she decide to go for a run to clear her head. She ran down the road and came to an abandoned compound of houses which was owned by the US Coast Guard. As she ran back to her beach house, she kept thinking about how that would make a perfect cancer retreat center where people battling the disease could get away with their families. She would paint all the houses pink... Little Pink Houses Of Hope.
Well, so far, she hasn't gotten her actual pink houses but she has the next best thing. Patten-Coble and her best friend Melissa Brown have been making plans for the past two years to give families a week at the beach to reconnect, heal and just have fun together.
This week, they are living out their dream. The first group of six families is at Kure Beach for the week. They have plans to take 50 families throughout the summer. Through donations of houses, food, money and of course volunteer time, all the families have to do it show up. The houses are free and the meals are taken care of. They can choose to participate in activities with the other families or spend time with their own family.
2011 retreats are already filled but if you would like more information about how to donate or volunteer, here's the Little Pink Houses of Hope website.