by Tina Powell, Big Fat Pen Communications

Eleanor Charlton marvels at the positive impact breast cancer has had on her life. A twelve-year survivor, Eleanor is doing things she never would have done before. She joined a dragon boat team; she got a job after being a stay-at-home mom for 30 years; and she signed up for a Knight’s Cabin retreat.

One of Eleanor’s running pals (all cancer survivors) had heard about Knight’s Cabin and the newly adventurous, 69-year-old Eleanor thought it was a “cool idea.”

There were three things that appealed to Eleanor about Knight’s Cabin:

  1. She had never been to a retreat in her life and thought it was high time she attended one.
  2. She had never tried yoga or meditation before and heard they would be doing a bit of both.
  3. She loved the idea of a weekend in beautiful Canmore, Alberta.

Eleanor and her friends applied to attend a Knight’s Cabin retreat and to their delight all four were accepted.

“It only took minutes to be comfortable and feel like we belonged,” recalls Eleanor.

She was also surprised to discover how much she enjoyed the food.

“We had a lot of vegetarian food—which is not generally what I choose—yet, it was wonderful!” Thanks to Knight’s Cabin, both Eleanor and her husband are now eating more veggies and less starchy foods at home.

But the greatest gift that Eleanor received while attending her Knight’s Cabin retreat was the gift of inspiration. One night, Eleanor and her three pals went back to her room for a chat. They were joined by a young women who was recovering from brain cancer and her sister. To this day, Eleanor often thinks about this young cancer survivor.

“She was quite an impressive women,” shares Eleanor. “In spite of what she went through, she was strong and beautiful … and she’s running this exercise program in BC somewhere. It’s like having the cancer made her stronger.”

When you look at Eleanor’s personal journey, it’s not surprising that Eleanor felt a special bond with this young woman. Yet prior to attending Knight’s Cabin, Eleanor found herself worrying more and more about a reoccurrence or the possibility of her cancer metastasizing.

“For whatever reason, I don’t think about that so much anymore,” says Eleanor happily. “I think more about all the cool things that happened and the wonderful people. It inspires me to think that everything’s going to be wonderful!”

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