Serving Chicago For Over 20 Years

The Seat Next to Me

This is a guest post from Jeanine Patten-Coble, the founder of Little Pink Houses of Hope, which allows cancer survivors and their families to go on a free vacation retreat at the beach. Her new book, Ridiculously Present, will be published in November 2017.

So many times we go through life not knowing of the trials and tribulations of people that we meet in our everyday lives. Are they angry because they have just lost their job? Are they sad because they just had someone close to them pass away? Are they fearful because they have just received a cancer diagnosis and don’t know if they are going to live or die?

I think about this a lot as I run across people in my daily life and my travels. I run a non-profit organization, Little Pink Houses of Hope, that provides free week long vacations for breast cancer patients and their families. So often when people meet me, I get a chance to get an inside look at how cancer is affecting their life or the life of someone that they love. All of the stories are powerful and everyone resonates the same message. They want to be here for the people that they love. They want to be cared for with dignity. They do not want to die of breast cancer- they want to live! Little Pink Houses of Hope retreats help them do exactly that! The programming focuses on living in abundance and trying new things like stand up paddle boarding, relaxing on a boat cruise, riding horses into the sunset- simply put, creating lasting memories for their family. A cancer diagnosis is physically, emotionally, and financially exhausting. Little Pink takes some of that stress away for breast cancer families for a week. Taking eleven families to premier destinations around the country for a week’s vacation, Little Pink provides housing, meals, activities and services completely free of charge.

Recently on a flight to Chicago, I sat next to Craig Sandberg of Muslin & Sandberg and we started discussing our respective professions, mine as a non-profit executive and his as an attorney. It was a great conversation, because it was rooted in how both of us work to truly help breast cancer patients when they are hurting the most. We both realize that we are not curing anything physically, but everyone of us has the power to walk alongside someone on their journey and help in the way that God has asked us to. It was wonderful to know that there are attorneys out there like Craig advocating for patients in distress.

To find out more about attending a Little Pink retreat or supporting the organization financially, please visit

Jeanine Patten-Coble is the Founder and President of Little Pink Houses of Hope and the author of the upcoming book, "Ridiculously Present". Little Pink is based in Burlington, North Carolina and conducts retreats in Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Arizona, California, and the US Virgin Islands.

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