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Northeast Times | October 18, 2021

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Texas Health HEB’s Free Bluebonnet Retreat for Cancer Patients Open for Registration

Texas Health HEB’s Free Bluebonnet Retreat for Cancer Patients  Open for Registration

The Bluebonnet Retreat, North Texas’ only cancer camp for adults, will be held April 10-12 at Star Brand Ranch in Kaufman. Registration for the camp, which is offered free of charge, is open through March 10. Participation is limited to 24, with first-time campers receiving priority.

The Bluebonnet Retreat, which has been held semiannually for 20 years, is a special project of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford. The retreat is open to ambulatory adults 18 or older who have been diagnosed with cancer within the past five years.

During the three-day, two-night camp set in a relaxing natural environment, attendees are provided a creative, educational atmosphere of support with a focus on wellness. Campers enjoy arts and crafts, physical activities, cancer education, and time for sharing and caring. The 24 camp counselors are members of the Texas Health HEB team, professionals from other areas of Texas Health Resources and community volunteers, many cancer survivors themselves.

Bette Johnson of North Richland Hills has experienced the retreat from the perspectives of both camper and counselor. A breast cancer survivor, she first participated as a patient in 2004.

“As a camper I was treated like royalty. I was able to have fun, feel loved and be inspired to thrive and grow,” Johnson said. “For one weekend I was able to take a vacation from cancer!”

Johnson, who has been in complete remission for 11 years beyond her diagnosis, said she decided that “when she grew up” she wanted to be a Bluebonnet Retreat counselor. Her dream has come true at four retreats. She plans to make it five at the April retreat.

“I want people to know there is more to life than a cancer diagnosis. It’s an honor to be able to work with the wonderful retreat staff to help play a role in a camper’s recovery, even if just for a weekend,” Johnson said.

The retreat is held twice a year, during the spring and fall.

“Campers receive strong emotional support in a relaxing environment from others who have gone through the same or similar experiences,” said Tammy Quattrochi, B.S.N., R.N., OCN, oncology nurse manager at Texas Health HEB and Bluebonnet Retreat director.

Register for the Bluebonnet Retreat at www.TexasHealth.org/BluebonnetRetreat. Registrants will be notified by phone two weeks prior to camp whether they have been selected.