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Family Beyond Cancer

This year in the United States, more than 15,000 families will hear the dreadful news that their child has been diagnosed with cancer. As they make their way through treatment, they will face a thousand battles aside from the one happening with their kid’s cellular biology. Moms and dads might seldom see one another save for passing in the hospital parking lot. Mounting medical costs can be overwhelming on their own, and even more so, with one of the parents quitting their job to manage the care. Siblings might feel a loneliness from an understandable lack of attention. Friends and neighbors will want to help, but they won’t really know how. 

Because of these realities and so many more, the family unit bears unimaginable weight and is exposed to profound risk. And that’s just not going to work for us. 

Lighthouse Family Retreat is a faith-based non-profit that exists to strengthen every family living through childhood cancer. We host restorative retreats and develop valuable resources so that families and their support systems can find hope in God and help in their fight. 


Our Work



Everything we do starts and ends with an understanding of the Gospel. This is the good news that while this world is broken and hurting and filled with afflictions like cancer, it wasn’t meant to be this way. And because of God’s grace extended to us through his Son Jesus, it won’t always be this way. This gives us ultimate hope and imagination for the work we do and the kiddos we love and the families we serve. 

Side Note #1: You do not have to share our faith in order to engage with our organization, but you will encounter it along the way, so we want to be upfront from the onset. 

Side Note #:2 Many of our fellow Christians come to us with all kinds of emotions including doubts and anger. We absolutely understand and want to offer a safe place to wrestle with God. 




Our flagship offering is a respite for families living through childhood cancer, who we call our Golden Families. We serve them by organizing volunteers, called Family Partners, to provide a week of deep rest, relational connection, great laughter, and palpable kindness. We held our first retreat on August 8, 2000, serving six families and since that time, we have made lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories with people we now see as our own family. 




Over the last 20 years, we have learned a thing or two from the families we serve and the Family Partners that serve with us. We are working on packaging this wisdom and insight into helpful resources that range in format from articles, to podcasts, to action plans and activity handbooks. We would love to host every single family on a retreat, but we understand it’s not possible. Resources are our way of bringing the magic of retreat to them. Look for more on these resources in 2019! 


Our Team


Chris Woodruff
Executive Director & CEO


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Kalen Gary
Executive Administrator & Office Manager



Angie Morris
Finance Coordinator


Mike Tamborello
VP, Retreat Operations

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Julie Fesefeldt
Retreat Family Manager

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Christy Richards
Retreat Operations Manager

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Anne Davis
Retreat Operations Coordinator

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Katelyn DeVos
Marketing Coordinator


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Adam Tomberlin
Development Director


Jennifer Ward
VP, Partner & Leader Development


Josh Randolph
Partner Development Manager


Michele LaRotonda
Partner & Leader Communications Coordinator


Our 2019 Board

Chip Debartola  Vice Chair

Chip DeBartola

Becki Cedrone

Becki Cedrone Secretary


Rick Holliday Treasurer

Dennis Latimer

Dennis Latimer


Michael Lage

Kevin Floyd

Kevin Floyd


Jon Hall


Elle Rivers

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Rebecca Sills

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Jon Vaughan

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Courtney White



Financial and Official Documents



Audit Report - Available in Fall 2019

Form 990 - Available in Fall 2019