Published on Aug 7, 2014

When it comes to being a kid at the Thorpe home in West Jordan, 36-year-old Melanie is all over it.

“We have a lot of good times,” said Thorpe, as she plays with her three young daughters named Emma, Danny and Katlyn.

But for this young and joyful mom, there is also a painful truth about her life: Thorpe is bald. She’s been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, which means her time with her kids could be limited. The cancer has gone into her bones and there is no cure.

“I don’t know how long [I have],” said Thorpe. “It’s really tough to sit and watch when you would rather be up and doing…I just want to be involved. I’m the kind of mother that I turn into a kid when I play with my kids and so I want to be with them, and I want to be able to play with them doing the things they are doing.”

Thorpe’s story is exactly the purpose behind the Image Reborn Foundation, a non-profit organization that gives women with breast cancer the ultimate weekend getaway. The getaway is complete with facials, yoga, meals, speakers, and counseling and group sessions.

Jodi Holmgren, a breast cancer survivor says the number one rule at the Reborn foundation is “The women can’t lift a finger.”

“We are there to take care of them all weekend,” says Holmgren.

Holmgren is the executive director of the organization. She says the purpose of it is to address the emotional and spiritual needs of the women. The purpose reads, “To deal with body image issues and empower them with camaraderie that they are not alone on this journey to wholeness and wellness.”

The retreat happens once a month at a home or place in Park City that is donated for a weekend. Each retreat is made up of women in similar stages of breast cancer so they can understand and support each other. The next retreat is scheduled to take place on August 22. These retreats are all at no cost to the participants.

“Getting away gives you a change of scenery to have some clarity and reflect,” said Holmgren.

Thorpe just returned from a retreat. The getaway may not have cured her cancer, but it has given her new life.

“It’s something that renews your spirit it renews yourself it renews your body. It brings you back to feel feminine again to feel like a woman to feel like a person again,” said Thorpe.

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