Travel Respite Program

Sadness to Joy. Depression to Hope.
Isolation to Inclusion. Loneliness to Community.

For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation (FPS) enables cancer patients and their loved ones to strengthen, deepen and unify their relationships by creating unforgettable and lasting respite experiences.  With the Travel Respite Program, we provide adult cancer patients, their caregivers and their children with an opportunity to spend transformational time together in an environment away from their home.

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.

In the Travel Respite Program, our program coordinators work closely with each family to ensure a meaningful experience. Currently, FPS is exclusively working with our travel partner, Woodloch Resorts, and nominated families are invited to spend five nights/six days at this safe, top-rated family destination.  The outcomes from the Woodloch experience demonstrate the impact respite has on the family’s well-being.  With Woodloch’s assistance, FPS continues to tailor the respite to each family’s unique, pressing needs as identified by the nominating health professional.

After the travel 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.

Therapeutic Benefits of Respite

Cancer touches every aspect of a family’s life.  Thus, the benefits of respite span across all platforms related to emotional, psycho-social, physical, spiritual and financial health.  Our graph below captures the essence of all these benefits, and as FPS covers all respite travel costs, no family has the financial burden to shoulder for the experience.  At Woodloch, families are able to participate in specific activities exclusive to FPS families which address these benefits.  Such activities include mediation and chair yoga, cupcake wars, art therapy, nature walks and team building activities sure to delight and develop family communication.  To learn more about our outcomes, visit our website Impact page.

new-fps-benefits

What a Travel Respite Includes:

We work hard to ensure that there is no detail that goes unaddressed in the respite planning experience. Thus, our program is comprehensive in what if offers:

  1. Accommodations for the patient, primary caregiver, and children of the patient. FPS covers expenses related to the respite, including transportation costs. We work with each family to ensure that travel timing is feasible based upon treatment schedules and destination availability. Through June 2022, our Travel Partner, Woodloch Resort, is hosting monthly respites. We also will utilize locations from our Travel Partners, RV on the Go, and other resorts in PA, VA, NJ, CT and ME.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4.  A photo keepsake that captures the memories of time together.
  5. 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.

To inquire about our program, please submit an inquiry below or call our office at 267-708-0510.

Requirements

We partner with hospital and cancer-center based oncology professionals to receive nominations of eligible patients that meet our guidelines.  To be eligible for our program, all patients must be nominated by a member of his/her oncology team.

To be eligible for a respite experience, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Patient must be between 24-55 years of age and diagnosed with cancer by an oncologist in the past two years.
  2. Patient must have a diagnosis between Stage I and Stage IV.  Nonstaged cancers such as leukemia, myeloma and lymphoma are accepted.  At our discretion, priority is given to advanced stage patients based upon funding and respite destination availability.
  3. Patient must be nominated by a health care professional who is a member of the patient’s oncology team.
  4. Patient must be in active treatment within the last six months.  Active treatment includes chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation and/or surgery.
  5. Patient must reside in DE, PA, NJ, NY or MD.
  6. Patient has not applied to another nonprofit for a wish/respite/vacation or traveled on a self-funded or nonprofit supported wish/respite/vacation since diagnosis or recurrence.
  7. Patient is not planning a respite/vacation in the upcoming 12 months from date of nomination.
  8. Patient must be able to travel within 120 days of nomination and the destination will be determined based upon funding and respite availability.
  9. Patient must have a primary adult caregiver available to travel on respite.

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.

If you live outside of our service area, please email us so we can share other resources that would be helpful in your journey.  We hope to expand our region in the upcoming years as part of our strategic plan. 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.