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The one hundred honoree: Turning The Tide Ovarian Cancer Retreat

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Turning The Tide Ovarian Cancer Retreat

Mass General Giving

Amid the profound challenges and struggles of ovarian cancer, the Turning The Tide Ovarian Cancer Retreat in Maine remains a haven of peace and hope.

Anne Tonachel, an ovarian cancer survivor, founded the retreat with Robin Bray in 2012. Sadly, Robin succumbed to the disease. In 2013, Anne was joined by Susan Joanis, who has helped to make the retreat a reality ever since. About 35 women attend this annual event at the lakefront camp, discovering a supportive, loving environment where they can relax and talk with other women who have ovarian cancer.

This welcoming escape offers everything from swimming and kayaking to rock wall climbing and zip lining. There’s yoga, massages, reflexology and Reiki. In addition, the women can participate in small group discussions on various topics related to ovarian cancer, and meet with therapists and spiritual counselors for insight and guidance. Many organizations donate their time, resources, gifts and more so that each day the women can wake up to wonderful offerings such as body lotions, healthy snacks, a hand-knitted shawl or a comfort blanket.

Participants who have experienced the restorative power of Turning The Tide will never forget it. Says Sally O’Shea: “Having the opportunity to step away from your life for 3-4 days, come to this beautiful setting, and be in the company of women who share your cancer journey is a true gift.” Margaret Mastrangelo echoes this sentiment: “I have never felt so held, or felt such an outpouring of love.”