Remodeled retreat: Cheerful Caring Cabin delivers joy to kids with cancer

Interior designer Anna Kimmel accepted a project that would intimidate most people: Create a cheerful space to bring joy to seriously ill children and their families. Today, the Children’s Cancer Association’s renovated coastal retreat is a place where natural light, color and fun furniture come to play. Inside the Caring Cabin, kids can hang out in a media room with a table made of steel-and-wood letters that spell out “Joy Rx,” a reference to the organization’s motto of prescribing joy. The 24-acre retreat, outside of Pacific City and far away from the hospital environment, connects kids to nature and promotes healing, says Regina Ellis, who founded the Portland-based Children’s Cancer Association in 1995 after her five-year-old daughter Alexandra died of cancer.

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Prescribing Joy: A Stay At Children’s Cancer Association “Caring Cabin” Is Powerful Medicine

Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin, nestled on 24 acres of serene woods just outside of Pacific City on the Oregon Coast, is one of many ways the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA) based in Portland prescribes joy as a powerful medicine for children and families facing serious illness.

Diane Slaughter’s 6-year-old son Mason was undergoing treatment for leukemia during their stay. The Caring Cabin offered a welcome escape in a place designed for families just like them, fully equipped with all the comforts of home. Slaughter said she and her family enjoyed everything about their time at the cozy beach house and really appreciate CCA’s efforts to bring loved ones together in a peaceful, playful, healing and normalizing setting.

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