We will never forget the first time we met Dannette. She arrived at the Thumbs Up Retreat with a contagious laugh and a teenage son that towered above her. She was a single mother of three kids actually, but the older two were grown and gone. And this last one, a football player named Dior, was about ready to fly as well. He was a senior in high school and graduating in less than a month. This boy of hers had grown up too fast – while his friends focused on proms and football, he was taking care of his mother.
Dannette’s cancer, Multiple Myeloma, had returned after only three years in remission, and her son was the one who drove her to doctor’s appointments and to treatments. He skipped school or cut class if he had to in order to get his mom where she needed to go. Somehow in the midst of all that, he kept his grades up enough to get accepted to a small college in South Carolina. That was huge – and his mom knew it was his ticket to a better life.
But there was a BIG problem… Dannette’s treatments were far from over, and Dior needed to report to campus in less than a month. How could he just move out of state like everything was fine? His mom understood his struggle, and she intended for this Thumbs Up Retreat to give her son a badly needed BREAK from the stress and pressure that 17 year old boys shouldn’t feel.