Recently I heard from a couple of friends about a special retreat for cancer patients called Mary’s Place by the Sea in Ocean Grove, NJ.  I made an appointment to have a look and take a tour. 

I took that tour today, but before I tell you anything about it, I need to frame the day.

As I was getting ready to leave the house this morning for the shore to visit Mary’s Place, I was listening to a Ted Talk as I usually do every morning.

I happened on a Ted Talk about a woman named Majd Mashharawi.  Her talk was about making “bricks out of ashes”.  Although I had repeatedly by passed her talk numerous times before, for some reason I decided to listen this time.  As it turned out, I was so fascinated with her talk, I kept pressing rerun and listened over and over again.  Not sure exactly how many times. 

I can’t go into her story in this post, however I strongly suggest every Woman on the planet listen to it.  If you’re not moved by it, I suggest you go immediately to your doctor for an examination.

On the drive to Mary’s Place, I could not get Majd out of my head.  Two things she said kept rolling around in my mind.  The first thing was her question, “How can I help people?”  And the 2nd thing she said that made an impact on me was,

 “It wasn’t that hard, but it wasn’t easy”

When I pulled up to Mary’s Place, the house was so beautiful, Majd’s Ted Talk went right out of my thoughts.  I LOVED the house instantly.  The thing that struck me the most, were the outside lights next to each window.  As though each room had been personalized with an outside light.  To me it just seemed like such a special personal touch the builder had thought of.

Then I went in and met the co-founders, Maria McKeon and Michelle Gannon.  Without getting too dramatic, which I usually am, they seemed to have been divinely picked for their mission.  Both of their temperaments are very calming, like they could handle anything without breaking a sweat.  I’m sure that isn’t true, but the fact that you can appear that way is significant in running a business like this.  Yet they both said they knew they were doing what they were “SUPPOSED” to be doing.

  • They first met at a gym, and began casually discussing an IDEA.
  • Then they turned that idea into a PLAN
  • Then they executed that PLAN

Two young women out of gratitude and thankfulness, determined to GIVE BACK!  Neither one of them had ever had cancer, but both just felt Mary’s Place was something that needed to be done to accommodate woman in recovery. 

Can you imagine that?  WOW!

Picture of the co-owners on the back of their brochure

As we spoke about how things had evolved and grown, Michelle casually mentioned,

“It wasn’t that hard, but it wasn’t easy”

I couldn’t believe I was hearing those words again within 24 hours from two different woman thousands of miles apart.

Let’s see, a woman half way around the World, single handedly started a process for making bricks out of ashes and was also finding a way to provide solar energy to her city buried in rubble.

And here were 2 other women, sitting in front of me, that single handedly started a process for helping to rebuild lives after a devastating bout with cancer.  Oh, and by the way, did I mention it was non-profit?


Years ago, I remember telling a male friend of mine, that the world would only begin to find true peace and some sort of balance when it was being totally run by women.  At the time I was somewhat joking, but today I got the chills realizing there is some truth to the statement.

The women I encountered today, are:

“ORDINARY” people doing “EXTRODINARY” things.

Things that the most powerful, influential and

some of the richest people on the planet

can’t seem to tackle.


Governments, CEO’s, Captains of Industry, Billionaires, Politicians, and Highly educated people, can’t seem to solve the tiniest problems of everyday life that impact millions of people.  WOW!

Sorry but I had to get that in, but now I want to tell you more about Mary’s Place.  Each room at Mary’s Place is beautifully appointed, pristine clean, but also so serene and welcoming.  Each one has a beautiful attached bathroom.

The kitchen is at the heart of everything, dead center when you walk in.  The menu is plant based, but the aroma is that of a World class restaurant.  A beautiful massage room, sauna, meditation room, dining room, you name it.  All the amenities of a high-end Hotel, the types of things that will alter the mind from negative to positive.  Which of course is the whole point.

But then you go outdoors, and you get the cherry on the cake, the OCEAN!  What can be more healing than that, and it’s all free.  WOW!  Every state in this country should have a Mary’s Place.

Mary’s Place has hosted woman from all over the World.  They have stories of the most miraculous networking and bonding situations you can imagine.  It really is a community.

This is the 10th year celebration for Mary’s Place, and they have accommodated upwards of 10,000 women from all walks of life.

One of our Daisy List Thriving Survivor’s will be a guest of Mary’s Place in May, and we will be following her visit, so stay tune.

They have a WALK-A-THON on Sat, May 18, 2019 as well as a 5K RUN which I plan to attend and encourage everyone else to attend.  What could be a better day than walking/and or running for such a GREAT cause at such a beautiful location like the beach.


An October Fundraiser is scheduled, and a save the date notice will be coming out soon so watch for it. 

It promises to be a GREAT event!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. What a beautiful idea and place. Awesome! Nes

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