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Nashville non-profit 'Waves of Grace' gives cancer patients the gift of free beach getaways

Posted at 7:24 AM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 08:24:09-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A cancer diagnosis is all-consuming for the patient -- and their family.

"Because a lot of families going through cancer can’t afford a trip. It’s not even on their radar," said Jennifer Matwijec.

Matwijec is the founder of "Waves of Grace" a non-profit that is dedicated to giving families a break from hospital rooms and bad news. Matwijec lost her mother to cancer in 2012.

"My mom‘s diagnosis was Stage IV when she was first diagnosed. It was pretty advanced gastric cancer," she said.

Up until the end, the sand and the sun was never far from her mind.

"During her treatment she would ask the doctor, 'When can I go to the beach?'" she said.

Now -- in her honor -- "Waves" gives other families dealing with the diagnosis a way to enjoy a vacation free of charge.

"Waves" just booked their 60th trip. They work with more than ten beach properties that donate the space for free or at discounted rate. They even work with a local photographer to capture precious moments.

Matwijec says her mom would be so pleased.

"Keeps her memory alive for me," she said.

"Waves of Grace" is having a "Cheeseburgers in Paradise" themed benefit at The Tin Roof in Cool Springs this Saturday, April 13th from 6-8pm. Proceeds from food and drink benefit Waves.