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A Day Off From Worry and Stress: Seasons of Respite Spa Day Gives Moms the Chance to Relax, Regroup

Mothers of seriously ill children and teens will have a day off from worry and 24/7 care-giving on April 25th when Chai Lifeline West Coast, Sohacheski Family Center, treats them to a day at Tikkun Holistic Spa . The annual Marilyn Sohacheski Spa Day is one component of Seasons of Respite, an innovative program consisting of four one-day retreats emphasizing mind, body and spirit, acclaimed for the vital relaxation and support that it affords mothers caring for ill children.

When a child is very sick, the mother often assumes full-time care-giving responsibilities in addition to caring for the rest of her family. Sometimes she must work outside the home as well. As a result, moms feel they have no time for themselves, exacerbating already considerable stress levels, explained Randi Grossman, director of Chai Lifeline West Coast.

The Seasons of Respite Program combines stress-relieving activities, pampering and the opportunity to meet and share ideas and emotions with other mothers facing the same challenges. Our goal is to provide experiences that refresh women’s minds and spirits and enable them to care for everyone in their families because they have cared for themselves.

The focus of Spa Day will be relaxation. In between pampering treatments (massage, facial, Korean body scrub, or manicure/pedicure), participants will have an opportunity to take part in revitalizing yoga sessions, soak in a green tea Jacuzzi, or enjoy an aroma therapy session, all while making important connections with women undergoing similar experiences and building a vital support network in the process. As one mother wrote in her evaluation last year, This was by far the best day in 9 months since my son was diagnosed with cancer. The opportunity to rejuvenate with a group of women who have so much in common with me and the chance to relax both body and soul in such a soothing setting has been a priceless gift.

Now in its eighth year, the Seasons of Respite program is hailed by participants for encouraging them to take time out for themselves. Rabbi Simcha Scholar, executive vice president of Chai Lifeline, commented, The Marilyn Sohacheski Annual Spa Day, and the entire Seasons of Respite program, gives mothers a time to relax and find friendship in a supportive environment. By recharging their waning batteries, mothers feel they can continue to do the enormously difficult job of parenting a seriously ill child while being a wife and mother to the rest of their family.

For more information on this program and other Chai Lifeline activities, contact Randi Grossman at 310 274-6331 (office) or 310 614-3016 (cell).

When a child is born or diagnosed with a serious illness, the entire family feels the pain. Chai Lifeline provides crucial emotional, social and financial support that enables the family to cope with the short- and long-term repercussions of life-threatening and lifelong pediatric illness. On the West Coast, the Sohacheski Family Center offers over two-dozen year-round, free programs and services to children, their families and communities. For more information about becoming a Chai Lifeline volunteer or donor, or for assistance, contact the Sohacheski Family Center at 310 274-6331 or 877 374-6331 or email Rgrossman@chailifeline.org.

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