Our Impact

How we began…

John and Thea Patterson, local philanthropists, were facing a cancer diagnosis. Out of their experience of a cancer support retreat in Washington State, they returned to Haliburton with the vision of establishing a retreat centre to carry out whole-person care and wellness support for those facing cancer. Working alongside a group of dedicated community volunteers, Abbey Retreat Centre was created. Abbey Retreat Centre was launched in 2016. In 2017, Abbey Retreat Centre began hosting in-person retreats off-site for people living with a cancer diagnosis, and their support person. In May of 2018, we moved our programs to our newly renovated centre. We are grateful to be located on the beautiful grounds of Abbey Gardens Community Trust, a not-for profit charity whose mission is to create opportunities to learn about living more sustainably. 

John and Thea believe that by creating the retreat centre they were planting seeds that will assist in the transformation and strengthening of whole-person (body, mind, soul) cancer care in Canada.

Our Impact

People served


Quilts Gifted





In September 2012 I received a diagnosis of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and my working career abruptly ended.  I began…
Cancer at 40 ~ 4 Major Surgeries ~ Chemotherapies ~ Genetic Mutations ~  OH MY!! My journey began in 2019, when tumours…

“My cancer journey was in a sense solitary. Well-meaning friends could not hear what I was saying, and sometimes my spouse and I have not said things out of concern for the other’s fragility. Here we found a loving, caring, healing and fun community of new found friends who shared our experiences. An incredible gift.”
– Retreat Participant 

Annual Reports & Financial Statements

Your donation is DOUBLED for the month December!

All donations up to a total $25,000 will be matched by a generous donor!