Bead Buzz: Free Beading Retreat for Cancer Patients Set to Expand
Lonakana, a free beading retreat nestled in the Endless Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania, has been providing refuge and relaxation for five years to women with cancer. Its founder, Maryann Corey, hoped to spread the healing power of beading to larger numbers of women and children. She found an idyllic sixty-four-acre farm on which to further pursue her mission.
The new land and facilities will feature three handicap-accessible cottages that can house four to eight guests, as well as an art barn, yoga barn, portable petting zoo for children, sleigh rides, and simple country activities. The retreat is designed to encourage both patients and their family and friends to escape the routine of doctor visits and to recharge so they can resume the battle with renewed spirit and vigor.
The Lonakana Retreat grew out of Maryann’s experience with her other venture, the Portable Playhouse, a nonprofit that brings beading instruction and inspiration to the bedsides of women and children in hospitals and outpatient cancer centers. Maryann found that beading helped calm the patients by distracting them from their environment as they got into a “beading zone.” She also noticed the strain a cancer diagnosis can put on families as they adjust to their new roles and routines.
Maryann wanted to create a place where families could reconnect and create loving and lasting memories without any mention of sickness. The vision of Lonakana is well on its way but needs some help to become a reality. The organization is accepting donations at www.lonakana.org and www.gofundme.com/lonakana.
Photos courtesy of Lonakana.
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