The Spirit of Pink Vail

Mar. 24, 2014


Fight cancer with Pink Vail on April 5th, to benefit the Shaw Regional Cancer Center. 

Written by Kim Sharkey, Manager of Jack’s Place a Cancer Caring House in Edwards, CO.

When I come to work each day, I am greeted by people in their pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers.

I’m the manager of Jack’s Place, a cancer caring lodge next to Shaw Regional Cancer Center in Edwards, Colorado. We provide patients who must travel a distance for their cancer care a place to stay while they receive treatment. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also invited to stay and take advantage of our programs. With luxury rooms, a gourmet kitchen, yoga studio, massage room and endless vistas of the Eagle River and Sawatch Mountain Range, Jack’s Place is an idyllic setting for healing.

Jack's Place

Jack’s Place located next to Shaw Regional Cancer Center in Edwards, CO.

Battling cancer can be scary, exhausting, and confusing. My job is to make the lives of our patients a little easier. Pink Vail helps.

Since we are one of the world’s only comprehensive cancer centers in a ski community, it makes sense that we host the world’s biggest ski day to conquer cancer, Pink Vail. The proceeds from Pink Vail benefit patient care and survivorship programs here at Shaw.

Thanks to Pink Vail funds, patients can take advantage of free massages, acupuncture, and wellness classes like yoga, tai chi and Pilates. We’re able to offer professionally-guided one-on-one and group support with our social worker, as well as nutrition and fitness classes and outdoor adventures. These programs don’t cure cancer, but I’ve seen firsthand how they lift the spirits of our patients and their families and help them get through an otherwise grueling journey.

The outpouring of love and support our patients feel from Pink Vail has been incredible. I am watching the fundraising thermometer with our Jack’s Place guests each day; we are giggling at the creative names participants have come up with for their teams, like Patsy’s Pasties, The Rack Pack, and Piste Off About Cancer; and we are looking forward to April 5th, a ski day dedicated to our patients and survivors.

The human spirit is uplifting. Unfortunately, most everyone has been affected by cancer in some way. Each Jack’s Place guest is someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, friend. Pink Vail is a way for everyone to not only help the patients and survivors of Shaw Regional Cancer Center, but to commemorate the fight of everyone who has battled cancer.

I might be the only manager of a lodge who is glad when her guests leave and never return except to say hello when they are here for checkups. When our guests end their stay at Jack’s Place to head home, they know exactly what I mean when I tell them not to take it personally, but I hope I don’t ever see them again. It means they are healthy. They’ve survived.

I’m honored to be a part of the healing journey of our past patients, now survivors. Unfortunately, new guests arrive. As long as Jack’s Place hosts people in their pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers, we’ll continue to host Pink Vail and raise funds to help make those folks feel better.

Please support our cancer patients by being a part of Pink Vail on April 5, 2014. All ages and abilities can take part (you don’t even have to ski!), and every dollar matters.

For lodging information, click here.

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