The genesis for the respite program was a “girl trip to the mountains” that the founder planned and put into place with her ailing mother and two sisters. Her mother, living with lung cancer, wanted to visit the founder’s “dirt”… a home site in Summit County.
This “no regrets” trip required extensive coordination between Mom’s doctor in Chicago and doctors in Vail, a dear friend coordinating handicapped logistics for travel, living quarters, and eating establishments and removing any economic barriers assuring that all three sisters could attend.
What occurred that week was, to say the least, transformative. Mom had a week to completely forget about her illness and bask in the glory of the Summer Mountains. The girls had a week to laugh, cry and prepare themselves for the times ahead. The day mom passed, she still had the pictures of that special week by her side.
This week showed the founder the power of the mountains and the need for cancer patients to get away for a time with their families, to forget about all the medical stuff, and enjoy and create memories together. It also showed how difficult it was to coordinate and execute such a week with a very sick person. Ten years later, the “dirt” turned into a home which was designed to host families with disabilities and the Domus Pacis Family Respite was created in memory and spirit of that “no regrets” girl trip.