HomeBlogKids with Cancer Equals Families with Cancer
Are you looking for a way to share your love with others? Looking for a sense of accomplishment in your life? Do you want to help those who are in need for a reason that is no fault of their own? Click the link below and begin the journey. The owners of Keystone Industries® spend time every year helping families of children with cancer. The rewards are great for both sides. For the month of December, Keystone Industries® is donating a portion of all sales to the Lighthouse Family Retreat. Read about one of the many families who have benefited:
Tony and Sara Paredes were married in 2001 and answered the call to be pastors shortly after. After losing their first son in 2003, they were blessed with their son, Ethan, who Sara describes as “absolutely amazing, an awesome kid, giving, outgoing, a people person with a servant heart.” He was never sick as a child, not even an ear infection, but on his 5th birthday, he was diagnosed with Leukemia.Sara says, “it was earth-shattering and life changing, but we knew we had a strong faith, and we realized that this was going to be our walk.” Ethan’s little sister, Ellie has only known that her big brother has cancer. Sara says that Ellie can be a typical little sister who knows how to bug her big brother, but she also knows when he’s not feeling well. Sara says she will turn into a “mother hen” and sing to him to help him when he’s at his lowest.
Ethan is still on treatment, and the Paredes family is taking it day-by-day. Of course they have hard days, but they do their best to stay positive.
The Paredes heard about Lighthouse through a Facebook group with other moms who have kids with Leukemia. A mother in the group mentioned their family’s trip to Lighthouse and the comments flowed in about families’ great experiences.
The Paredes family was most excited about leaving everything behind. They needed a break. Being away from all of it, Tony says, and to not have to worry about everything else, like finances and treatments, “was like a breath of fresh air.”
When they first arrived on Retreat 1 at Gulf Trace, the retreat environment completely exceeded their expectations.
The Paredes family had a great time at Lighthouse. The whole family even participated in the Talent Show. They sand “Everything is Awesome” from the Lego movie, while Ellie danced like a princess and Ethan did a robot dance in a Buzz Lightyear costume.
Their favorite part of Lighthouse, they say, was the people, the family partners. They felt so loved. “It wasn’t forced,” Tony added, “You genuinely knew that people were there to just love.”
Their favorite memory from their trip to Lighthouse was seeing Ethan get to be a kid again, “Seeing the hesitation that my son usually has, it just melted away, he doesn’t stray far from us, but with in a matter of 10 minutes, it was ‘see ya later mom.’ He’s normally pretty close to mom and dad, but he let himself be a little kid who didn’t have to be scared.”
“Ethan is sometimes treated a little differently because he has cancer, but that didn’t happen at the retreat. We were just a family having fun. It’s not like we forgot he had cancer, but it wasn’t even a factor, Lighthouse was a time of respite from being a family with a son who has cancer. It was a time for us to reconnect and have some real rest as a family, it brought us closer together.”
And what would they tell a family who is interested in applying to come to Lighthouse?
“Hurry up and fill out your application. Don’t think twice. You wont regret it.”