The Paterson Family
“We are a family of 6 with 4 girls. We are Derek and Rochelle with an adult 21 y/o daughter Ashley, twin 7 y/o daughters Rea and Halle, youngest, 6 y/o Myla. Rea was diagnosed with Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma when she was 2. She underwent aggressive treatment and has had no evidence of disease for almost 5 years. We are so grateful. Now we stay very busy and keep making great memories!
“My husband and I really loved Common Ground, being able to unload and share feelings and stories with other parents who are on similar journeys. As hard as it was for us to deal with our daughter having cancer, it was just as difficult to feel the pain of the other parents and hear their struggles. All of us prayed together and unloaded and felt at peace each time we walked out of the room. We also celebrated our kids’ triumphs together. It was a special group. We were humbled by all of the stories we heard. In a way, Derek and I kind of needed to be forced to do this, as we always declined support group sessions at the hospital or cancer centers in our area. We have such a close relationship, strong faith, and wonderful and involved family, so we never felt it necessary to seek additional support. But we were thankful for Common Ground and pleasantly surprised at how organized and productive our meetings were, impressed with how well the leaders ran each session, and amazed by the love and comfort that filled the room each day. It also certainly helped that we knew our kids were well taken care of and having the time of their lives while we were separated for that short time.
“Our girls loved the people most of all! They enjoyed spending time with our Family Partners and making new friends at the beach and pool. They had a blast swimming, singing, and dancing. We take nothing for granted; of course more so after Rea was diagnosed. We thank God for our health and many other blessings, and Lighthouse is one of the biggest gifts of love we have ever received. We always love and cherish any kind of family time, so it was a huge treat for us to relax and play together away from our usual busy schedule at home and work, and in a beautiful place with exceptionally kind and compassionate people. We were especially grateful to be able to attend twice because our eldest daughter could not attend the first retreat due to school. We remain friends and keep in touch with our Family Partners and many of the Retreat Families we met at LFR.” - The Paterson Family