A group of friends meet on a green field surrounded by mountains.

It's Almost Time: Year 13 of the NC Bladder Cancer Retreat

May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month and the perfect time to spread the word again about a fantastic event for bladder cancer survivors and caregivers.

I can't believe that in a few months we will be holding the 13th annual North Carolina Bladder Cancer Retreat from September 15 to the 18, 2022. It is a great event that brings people from all over the country together to share stories, support others, hear speakers, and grab lots of handouts, great swag, and samples. Plus, have a great time in general!

The retreat is hosted in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, a short drive from Asheville.

How I got involved

Cancer is an ugly word, especially when it involves you or someone you love.

Being the only person in my family to have such a diagnosis was an unexpected curveball. But I also found out after my diagnosis that I was someone who clearly understood the disease, treatments, options, and how it impacts us physically, mentally, and emotionally. For that reason, I become a strong advocate for getting the word out about this disease and helping others through it.

The best thing I did for myself was attend my first gathering in September 2016. I met many amazing and supportive people - the best being the founder of this event, Nancy.

Joining the team

In early 2017, I joined Nancy to co-chair this event and have done so every year since. What started as a luncheon for survivors to meet those they have "met" online has become a Thursday to Sunday retreat in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.

Over the years, we have added new company donors, more products, current information and updates on treatments, and more to this event. Many of our attendees come back every year to see the fantastic people in this group again.

Lucky year 13 of the retreat

This year our theme is Lucky 13. It is exciting to think about how much the retreat has grown. So many people look forward to attending every year, including me.

Our goal is to bring people together to meet others who have bladder cancer and share what has worked for us and how others have gotten through some difficult times.

We have people of varying ages, stages, and treatments, so it is an excellent mix of information and personal experience. The price is 45 dollars per person, and it is "returned" with meals and other things provided.

Details about the retreat

For anyone interested, check out our Facebook page - North Carolina Bladder Cancer Retreat.

As our goal is to keep this event small so that everyone has a chance to meet and interact with all of the others, we usually accept about 75 people. We reserve a local motel where many can stay at a reasonable price. But attendees are undoubtedly able to stay wherever they wish as well as to drive in for any days they want to attend.

Thursday and Friday include getting to know each other, with dinner provided Friday. Saturday is the main event with speakers, breakout groups, handouts, and plenty of samples. We end the day with everyone searching for a beautiful memento of this time to take home. Details of that are a secret to newbies, so you need to attend to find out.

There is plenty to do in Maggie Valley, and there is nothing like some authentic southern fried chicken!

Opportunities, scholarship, speakers, new donors

We are also happy to announce this is the first year we will be providing a scholarship opportunity for new attendees to apply.

We also are looking for a speaker this year who has noninvasive bladder cancer.

This is the event to attend for anyone struggling with this disease who needs support or would like to meet others who have bladder cancer. I can guarantee that you will leave with new friends, memories, and more samples and swag than you can carry.

Join us at the NC Bladder Cancer Retreat

If you are interested in the scholarship information, retreat info, being a speaker, or suggestions for companies I can reach out to for samples or information, please reach out to me via direct message from here.

I hope to meet many new people in September and see those who have attended in the past. We are all in this together!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The BladderCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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