Cancer Respite Program
Sadness to Joy. Depression to Hope. Isolation to Inclusion. Loneliness to Community.
We provide adult cancer patients, their caregivers and their children with an opportunity to spend transformational time together with a respite experience.
Our Travelers take a break from what life with cancer has become with doctor visits, surgery, tests and treatment. Through a unique gift of time together, they create priceless magical, memorable moments, experience immeasurable joy amidst devastating crisis, confront cancer hardships together and find emotional healing, hope and happiness during an uncertain and tumultuous time.
After the respite experience, FPS offers continued ancillary support during their cancer journey. Read more about these services on our “Support Beyond the Respite” page.
Together, we help families recognize it is love, not cancer that defines them.
What a Cancer Respite Includes:
- Up to one week accommodations for the patient and primary caregiver, and for children of the patient, when applicable. FPS covers most expenses related to the respite, including all transportation costs. We work with each family to ensure that travel timing is feasible based upon treatment schedules and destination availability. Please note, as of October 2020, if you are preparing to travel on respite you must have a Read ID or Passport if you are flying to your destination.
- Take a Break Bag, containing a generous cash stipend for the week, toiletries, writing journals, materials to encourage family communication and inspirational books to help make the respite meaningful emotionally and spiritually.
- A special Take a Break Bag for young children traveling on the trip, including snacks, games, encouraging notes from other children and activities and materials to promote communication about a parent’s illness.
- A photo keepsake that captures the memories of time together.
- Continued emotional support from FPS staff and volunteers, and referrals to other non-profit resources as needed. View Our Support Beyond the Respite page to learn more.
Inquire about our Cancer Respite Program using the buttons below
We partner with hospital and cancer center based oncology professionals to receive nominations of eligible patients that meet our guidelines.
A patient must have a physician diagnosis of cancer, be between the ages of 24-55, and be nominated by a health care professional who is a member of the patient’s oncology team. The vast majority of our patients are under financial duress and experiencing emotional and spiritual poverty. Thus, nominators consider clearly outlined clinical assessment factors to help determine if a patient is likely to benefit from the respite experience. Any new nominator to our program is required to schedule an inservice during which our nomination and selection process is clearly explained.
We provide our service to patients who reside in PA, NJ, NY, DE or MD. If you live outside of these states, please email us so we can share other resources with you.
Collaboratively, we work together as a team to plan the most unique respite experience which will result in improved mental health for the family unit. If you do not fit our criteria, we invite you to visit cancercare.org and learn about additional resources in your community.
For Pete’s Sake owns two respite homes in Davenport, Florida. Johnny’s House, our second respite home, was lovingly donated by Patti and John Murabito in memory of their son, Johnny.
We also receive donated trips from resorts and private home donors in the Poconos, Florida, the Caribbean, the Jersey Shore, Maine, the Hamptons, the Carolinas and Virgina. You can view some of our Travel Partners here.
We believe there are many amazing places to take a break from cancer, and we offer options to the nominated patients based on mutual availability. Destinations are decided after patients are nominated, and are not guaranteed during the nomination process.
Arising from the need to support families whose loved one experiences an extreme downturn in health after they were scheduled for a cancer respite experience, our patient advisory committee created a Staycation experience.
Our Program Coordinators will gift an FPS Staycation at their discretion after a patient’s trip has been canceled due to health reasons. The Staycation package encourages the patient, caregiver and immediate family to take a break at home. The package includes items that address the emotional, psychosocial, financial and spiritual needs of the patient and family unit.