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The History of Lighthouse


Lighthouse Family Retreat was founded in 1999 as a faith-based ministry by a Pediatric Oncology Nurse. She witnessed first-hand the weight childhood cancer puts on a family. Not only the stress of having a sick child, but the financial, marital, and relational strain cancer puts on the entire family. She knew of many wonderful organizations that would meet family's medical need, but not many that would treat the whole family and point them towards a HOPE in Christ. 

​We held our first Seaside Retreat on August 8, 2000, serving six families and since that time, we have made lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories with people we now see as our own family. 

Today we've grown to hosting over 20 Seaside Retreats per year with new types of retreats piloting in 2021. Lighthouse has served over 2,500 families over the course of 20 years on our Seaside Retreat and we look forward to meeting families where they are in our upcoming regional short-term retreats. 

Every environment we have on a retreats was create with the goal of strengthening families and providing them with rest, joy, restoration and more than a hope in a cure... but a hope in God. 


Common Ground is what we consider the heartbeat of a retreat. This is one of the most important retreat activities. Common Ground is a safe place for parents to connect with other parents living through a cancer diagnosis for their children. While Family Partners take care of their children in Flip Flop, each morning Retreat Family parents get time away together to build community and share their stories with other parents who understand.

The magic “how” we do this is by mobilizing over 1000 volunteers per year to serve with us. These volunteers give of their time, finances, and resources to help us strengthen families during their childhood cancer journey. We literally could not do what we do without each and every volunteer. One thing we consistently hear from the families we serve is that the one thing they wish they could take home from their retreat is our volunteers. 

In 2020 we introduced a handful of new resources designed to continue strengthening families after retreats. These new resources include The Lighthouse Podcast and Perspectives Blog. Now in 2021, we hope to soon introduce a new initiative of a community of care that will continue to strengthen families long after they leave retreats. These resources exist to encourage our families and to wrap them in the hope of Christ. 

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