Retreat Planned for Cancer Patients

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP --  An organization that helps cancer patients is looking to expand in Wayne County to a large tract of land.

Lonakana would give women and kids battling cancer a place to rest away from the hospital and their homes.

Far from the busy cities and towns, the property near Waymart is exactly what Maryann Corey was looking for as a retreat for cancer patients -- 64 acres of field and forest with a spectacular view, and in Corey's heart of hearts, the future home for Lonakana meant for women and children battling cancer.

"Just a place for them to come with their girlfriends, their mothers, their daughters or sisters, kind of a place to recharge a little bit," said Corey.

Corey's nonprofit is called the Portable Playhouse and has worked with hospitals to provide art therapy for women and children throughout the northeastern U.S.

Now, the group wants to expand with three cottages, enough space for 24 women to stay free of charge while they undergo treatments or are in recovery.

"Our patients come from all over, just a place to rejuvenate their spirit again."

This cancer retreat for women near Waymart does not come cheap. The organization is trying to raise nearly $1 million by the end of the year to pay for the property and the cabins which would be the biggest part of the retreat.

"It's wonderful to know people will wake up to see the view I've seen for 30 plus years," said owner Susan Schnaitman.

Schnaitman plans to sell her home and the land to Lonakana when the organization reaches its fundraising goal. A GoFundMe site has been set up and is a long way from the finish line.

Schnaitman believes this place has what the cancer patients are seeking.

"To sit out here and just kind of enjoy what nature has to offer, It's really, to me, God's country."

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