EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Little Pink Houses Retreat is back in Emerald Isle for its 10th year.

The goal is to give breast cancer patients and their families a much-needed vacation. Eleven families are on this week’s retreat, giving them a chance to not only relax but connect and relate to others with similar journeys.

One couple said the trip has been once in a lifetime for them.

“It’s like a sorority that you never wanted to be a part of but you are and no one who has not been through this understands as well as the people who have been through it so I feel like you can make lifelong friends here,” said Leigh and Brooks Pickels, Visitors from Richmond Virginia.

Founder Jeanine Patten-Coble began the nonprofit 13 years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now, the organization has grown to provide travel and accommodation expenses for all the families invited.