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Susan's Retreat in the Press:
Friends walk to raise money for Susan’s Retreat
By Natalie Miller (Ipswich Chronicle, Thursday, May 3, 2007)

A fundraising walk scheduled for Saturday, May 12 will not only commemorate a former Great Neck resident, but also be a step toward helping breast cancer patients take a break from life in treatment.

The 3.4-mile walk, which will begin at 10:30 a.m., at the parking lot of Pavilion Beach in Great Neck, will be the first of what is hoped to become an annual event to benefit Susan’s Retreat.  This foundation was created in dedication of former Ipswich resident Susan Nickerson, who died in January 2006 at the age of 51 after a battle with breast cancer.

"Her hope had been to make a retreat at her home on Great Neck," said Maggie Steig, executive director of Susan’s Retreat and friend of Nickerson.

Steig said that Nickerson, who lived fulltime in Cambridge, thought of her home on the Neck as an escape from her life of doctor’s visits and various treatments.  Once Susan’s disease progressed to the point where she couldn’t work, she spent all her time in Ipswich.

"She found great rest in having a place to get away," Steig said of Nickerson, who had wanted to turn her home into a retreat for women who didn’t have the means of escape.  Instead, Susan left a Giving Fund and an end of life wish to provide something pleasurable to women with breast cancer.  Susan’s Retreat was created with a goal of sending patients for a short stay to a resort location to take a break, said Steig.

So far, the foundation has sent three women on a retreat and has another seven scheduled.

"We are really just beginning," said Steig.  "We are starting small, but the idea is to serve as many Massachusetts women as possible."

The foundation serves women from Boston and outward that could not afford to have a get-away on their own, she said.

Steig said the feedback she has gotten from the women that have gone on retreats is overwhelming.

"Women break down crying over the phone," she said.  "It’s really moving and makes me feel like we are doing the right thing."

Steig said Nickerson wanted to give respite to women with the disease because she felt she would not have survived as long as she did without her Great Neck home.

"She was quite a woman," said Steig.

To register online for the walk or find more information about Susan’s Retreat, visit .

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