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Still here for you during COVID-19 | Rett's Roost

Still here for you during COVID-19

Quarantine Blogpost

Staying positive during scary, uncertain times

When our son, Everett, was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, it was a shock beyond most people’s comprehension–kids don’t actually get cancer do they? And my child? How? We held onto hope like it was all we had ever known. And although there were times of complete despair, we never let that hope dwindle during…

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Jun 26th, 2020

New Programs… we can do more than just retreats!

These past few months have been challenging for everyone, and we hope that you are all safe and healthy. We feel extremely fortunate to be able to offer some NEW PROGRAMS for families affected by childhood cancer and child loss. This year, instead of retreats, we’ll be hosting individual families in our guest suite at the Rett’s Roost Heart-quarters in Ogunquit. Our first family comes on July 3rd! We’re still offering our Virtual Resources for grief and anxiety, and we’ve sent out 20 amazing Quarantine Care Packages. Our two big announcements though, are the roll out of our brand new Family Grant Program and the change to a Virtual Superhero 5K this year.

Times are tough. If you know a family with a child going through cancer treatment or a family deep in grief during this time of COVID-19, please let them know of our new Family Grant program. Read more about the eligibility requirements and apply here:

We’ve made a final decision that our beloved Superhero 5K will be virtual this year. We are still putting together the details for this year’s event in September. And we are excited that now people can join us from afar to run in solidarity for our Rett’s Roost families. It will be quite simple: commit by registering, fundraise online, post on social media a picture or video of you running in your superhero get-up, receive your race swag & thank you gift in the mail. I hope you plan to run with us!

Even though our retreats are not happening this year, we still want to continue helping families. We know it’s a hard year for some people financially, and we’ve definitely budgeted for lower donations this year. But we also know our constituents believe strongly in our work–you can see the amazing list of our top fans on our newly updated Supporters Page–and we feel confident that Rett’s Roost will weather this storm.

Here’s how you can help right now:

  • Become a Sustaining Donor – Set up automatic deductions of $5, $10, $22 per month or quarter to make sure we stay afloat. It’s easy on our Donate page.
  • In-kind Donations – We’ll be hosting several families in Ogunquit and could use some meaningful gifts and gift cards to local businesses. Please Email us if you have something you’d like to give.



May 4th, 2020

Giving Tuesday Now…


As you may have guessed, our Rett’s Roost work is going to look a bit different this year. Because of COVID-19, we’ve already we’ve had to postpone our May & June retreats with the hope that July onward we can gather in small groups–but realistically, the current situation looks bleak. All that is happening in the world and our country is really hard to wrap our heads around. But we’ve spent some time thinking about what we can do as an organization during this time when families are facing the the global pandemic on top of taking care of a child with cancer.

We could just sit back and hold on to the money we had for retreats this year. But we feel the need to help families that are extremely vulnerable during this global pandemic. That being said, to shift our good work from retreats to new types of programming, we will still need financial support this year. We realize many small business owners and service workers are struggling to make ends meet. And if so, please know we don’t expect you to donate at this time. But if you are stable financially, if that stimulus check is just burning a hole in your pocket, maybe you could consider donating to our #GivingTuesdayNow campaign this week.

We are excited to be able to offer several virtual resources for our Rett’s Roost families while at the same time helping some of the therapists and healers that have been a part of our retreats. We’ve also been working hard to get Quarantine Care Packages out to families too, giving back to our local businesses that are struggling by skipping Amazon and shopping local. If you have been at one of our past retreats or applied for this year, please reach out to take advantage of some of these resources.

Our April virtual retreat for bereaved parents was a huge success! And so we’ll be adding another session June 14th & 28th (the retreat is split into two parts). Please find out more and apply Here.

Coming this month for families that have been affected by childhood cancer and COVID-19. Application period will open May 15th. Please check our website under Our Families to apply or contact



April 8th, 2020


We have adjusted our Grief is Love one-day retreat to a 2.5 hour online format. The retreat will take place on Zoom April 25th at 9:30am-12, and we are still welcoming a few more parents that experienced the death of a child between the ages of 5-18. Apply here. Follow here.

Our May Positively Healing Retreat at Duck Puddle Campground will likely be canceled due to the current status of the COVID-19 crisis. We will take a final vote on this at our board meeting on April 19th. All families will be notified and asked to attend a future retreat. See below for online resources to help with increased stress during this time.

We will continue to update you about the retreats scheduled for June, July, and August. The safety and health of our families and our community is paramount.

As we hang tight at Rett’s Roost in Ogunquit hoping our summer goes as planned, we continue to stay positive about how Rett’s Roost can help families this year. We will hopefully be introducing a new grant program next month. Until then we are offering our families online options and gifts for getting through this quarantine without going too crazy. If you are a Rett’s Roost family (attended one of our retreats from 2015-2019) or applied for our May retreat this year, we will offer to reimburse you for the online programs we feel are most valuable to healing grief and trauma (see below). In this way, we’re sticking to our mission of providing tools for healing and at the same time supporting the therapists and teachers that have supported us at our retreats, many of which have had to quickly innovate their work into online formats to maintain their financial security.

To our donors, we understand times are tough. You’ve been there for us, many since the beginning. If you are able to sustain a monthly donation, however small, please, keep us afloat. During this most precarious time, one that only my 102 year old grandmother witnessed anything like, this might be a tough year for small non-profits.



March 26th, 2020


We’ve been paying close attention to the COVID-19 crisis. It’s a scary world out there right now and we are sending lovingkindness to the elderly, to medical professionals, to small businesses, to people with compromised immune systems, and to lower income families that may have to risk their health to pay their bills.

We just wanted to reach out and let you know what is happening with our upcoming programming. Our May, June, and July retreats are currently full, and we are crossing our fingers that we can still hold these overnight gatherings of under 30 people. Our Grief is Love retreat on April 25th is the most precarious, but we are still accepting applications at this point. We will decide about postponing that one in early April. We still hope that our May 15th-18th retreat for families of childhood cancer survivors can go on at Duck Puddle Campground. Again, we will wait and see because some of the children are immuno-compromised. If we do have to postpone that one, we’ll reschedule for a weekend in October. We plan to reach out to all the families that have applied to our retreats this week or next.

If you are interested in helping while social distancing, please send a card with a positive message to a child with cancer to our address with a $5 donation (or more) in their honor. Rett’s Roost will keep the $5 and the card will be sent to a child with cancer or other life threatening illness. We will respond with a thank you note showing the child’s name (and facebook page if it’s public). This is a great idea for children who are currently home from school. All funds raised will go towards our new Family Financial Support program instead of our retreats.

Thinking happy thoughts,
Deana & Jim




Virtual Support

Rett’s Roost is now offering to reimburse families that choose to try one of the following therapies or supportive tools for themselves or their children. Families must have attended one of our past retreats from 2015-2019, or had applied to our retreat for this summer of 2020. Receipts for registering to an online session listed below must be emailed to to receive reimbursement. In some cases, we will pay directly for you, so you are welcome to contact us first.

Grief Therapy & Hypnotherapy

Mind * Body * Grief

Please check out what Emily Dziedzic has to offer at Mind Body Grief. Emily has been a massage therapist and cranio-sacral therapist at many of our retreats. She also provides incredible teachings for not only the bereaved, but also those going through intense situations that cause grief (including this quarantine). Emily guides people through grief coaching, hypnotherapy, and mindset sessions via zoom. Let us know if you connect with Emily.

Good Grief Parents

Caryl Dow has been the grief counselor at most of our bereavement retreats in Ogunquit. Families that meet with Caryl at our retreats have expressed immense gratitude for their experience. Caryl is an empath, she cares deeply about grieving families, and she knows exactly what to say. For those interested, Caryl offers individual consulting through Good Grief Parents. For Rett’s Roost’s bereaved families, we are encouraging parents to sign up for a meeting with Caryl, on us. During this time of going inward, retreating into our homes, emotions can be stirred, and we’d love to offer you support.

Yoga & Meditation

Shilo Farm Eco Lodge & Retreat

Shilo Farm speaks to our mission at Rett’s Roost. Jonas & Amylyn Amberger have been with us since the beginning and continue to support our work by offering their gorgeous retreat center, good hearts, and able hands to our retreat program. If you would like to check out some of their Facebook Live and Zoom options for virtual yoga and meditation, head over to their website. If you are a Rett’s Roost retreat family, let us know you took a class and we make a Love Offering in your name.

Yoga East

If I could recommend one therapy for anxiety and grief, it would be yoga. The practice and community at Yoga East is what saved me during Rett’s illness and death. For those of you that may are intrigued by the benefits of a flow based class to move your body and breath during this very stationary, scary time of staying home to stay well, check out Kimberly Dahlmann‘s Yoga East live stream schedule. It’s the perfect time for us to work on self care.

Essential Oils & Homeopathic Medicine

Karen Joy Wellness

If you are interested in how essential oils can help your family with immune protection and emotional balance during this difficult time, please contact Karen Joy Wellness. Karen Joy has been the essential oil guru at many of our Rett’s Roost retreats. She gives amazing aromatherapy massages and teaches educational classes on the use of the oils. Rett’s Roost is offering to cover the cost of an online wellness consult with Karen Joy, a doTerra membership, and a gift of essential oils specific to your family’s needs.

Inner Sea Homeopathy

Our friend and cancer survivor, Sarah Thompson from Inner Sea Homeopathy, uses homeopathic remedies and flower essences to address post-treatment side effects and bring vibrancy and calm back into one’s life. If you are a Rett’s Roost retreat family, and would like to check out Sarah’s services through a virtual meeting, we will reimburse the cost of your initial intake and prescription order. Please contact Sarah to make an online appointment with her.


Raylene Sousa, Medium

Raylene Sousa is one of our most loving mediums that has attended our bereavement retreats for the past three years, bringing solace to families that have lost a child by conveying messages from the other side of the veil. For those interested in connecting with Divine Spirit, or in understanding the afterlife a little more clearly, Raylene offers 30 or 60 minute sessions via video chat. For bereaved families that have been on our retreats or applied for this year, we’d love to provide a reimbursement. Make an appointment here, and send us your receipt.

Kathy Bee, Shaman

Shamanism is the oldest spiritual practice in existence, although it is not considered a religion. The shamanic practitioner works with benevolent and loving spirits to facilitate healing, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They may facilitate a pathway for communication between the living and their deceased loved ones, assisting a person in healing from grief or trauma in the past. Kathy Bee has provided mediumship to our bereaved families at many of our retreats. We have a great deal of faith in her intuitive nature and calming presence. Find Kathy on Facebook “Kathy Bee, Shamanic Practitioner”, or via email at

Reiki & Emotional Freedom Technique

Harmony Holistic Wellness & Recovery

Reiki helps to clear out stagnant and negative energies, realign the chakras, and assist with organic healing in both the physical body and the mind. And the coolest part is that it can be done remotely. Our friend Tabetha Leach is offering 30-minute distance reiki sessions to anyone that has been at our retreats or applied for this year. Check it out and see if you notice a lightness or shift in your mood. Contact Tabetha if you’d like to arrange a session.

Renew Counseling Center

Guided meditation and Emotional Freedom Technique, aka “Tapping”, are easy to do remotely! Thanks to Lisa DiGiovanni from Renew Counseling Center in Portland, ME, our Rett’s Roost retreat families can take advantage of a private online session to access these incredibly helpful stress reduction techniques. Please let us know if you would like us to help you connect with Lisa to make an appointment.

Kids Courses

Art – Erin McGee

Friends, we want to share with you the classes offered by Erin McGee Ferrell’s Studio for kids between the ages of 6-17. Erin attended our retreat at Duck Puddle Campground in 2018 just weeks before she was diagnosed herself with cancer. For anyone that has kids at home who are budding artists and might gain a lot from an art course while school is out, check out Erin’s Youth Art Studio offerings. If you attended one of our retreats or applied to the one this May (which is 99% certainly canceled), Rett’s Roost will reimburse you for the cost of Erin’s classes.

Magic – Sage’s Entertainment

We are excited about this amazing 8-session magic course for kids 8-15 offered by Sage’s Entertainment. Wayne & Kali Moulton bring huge smiles, creativity, and confidence to children with their magical, balloon and mind-bending performances. They empower the kids to not only give the gift of magic to others but also reinforce critical life skills that go beyond the world of magic. Each magic student will receive a package of high-quality magic props, a top-secret file folder, and a secret word that unlocks bonus videos in their online video vault. Let us know if your child is interested!



Quarantine Care Package


***Sold out though July***

If your family is interested in receiving a care package full of thoughtful and useful items for helping get through this stay-at-home time together, please contact us. Just let us know you are interested in the gift and we’ll ask you a few questions to make sure we get you the best stuff.



Upcoming Events
  • 9.18.20 - 9.20.20

    Superhero 5K/10K Fun Run

    Join us to support childhood cancer retreats for families. The 5K is followed by beer, brunch, and other fun activities at Throwback Brewery!