top of page
iStock-1203982370.jpg

Our Story

Bluebird has a long history of providing hope for adults with cancer. Camp Bluebird was established in Alabama in 1985 and spread to several cancer centers across the country creating a network of hope and healing for adults with cancer.  Spring Lake resident Bill Timm attended a Bluebird retreat in North Carolina while fighting his own cancer battle.  Inspired by the experience, Bill dreamed of bringing the same spirit of community, support, and inspiration back home.

Although Bill Timm died in 1994, his dream lived on through his wife, Robin, and their pastor, Rev. Peter Theune. Together they united four organizations – a local Church, North Ottawa Community Hospital, Hospice of North Ottawa Community, and the American Cancer Society – and the first retreat for Camp Bluebird of West Michigan was held on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1996.

In 2006 we changed our name to Bluebird Cancer Retreats of West Michigan, to better reflect the pampering and healing experience offered through our programs.  While our name changed, our mission remains the same – to enhance the lives of those experiencing cancer. Just as Bluebird once gave hope to Bill, we strive to pass on that same gift of light each day.

Today Bluebird Cancer Retreats of West Michigan hosts unique retreat experiences for individuals and for survivors/caregivers.   Recognizing that a diagnosis affects more than the survivor, Bluebird launched our Family Camp in 2019 to help parents and children reconnect and rediscover joy in life beyond a diagnosis.  Along with our retreats, Bluebird has a variety of offerings to provide a network and resource in our community making us a key touch point for anyone experiencing cancer. 

Meet the Team

Administrative Leadership

Board of Directors

Mike Pokrywka, President
General Manager of Lack’s Wheel Trim Systems

 

Lorie Jager, Vice-President
Sr. Adjunct Professor, GVSU

 

Ben Keller, Treasurer
Senior Financial Analyst, BDO

Darcie Beebe
Transplant Coordinator, Spectrum Health

 

Jess Garrison
Realtor, Coldwell Banker

Lindsey Sabol, BSN, RN, OCN
Manager, Medical Oncology, University of Michigan Health-West

 

Jennifer West, LMSW, OSW-C Oncology Social Worker, Trinity Health Lacks Cancer Center
 

Erik Johnson
Associate Buyer, Meijer

Rebeca Johnson
Manager, Systems Leadership Support, Priority Health

Advisory Board

Rick Arnold
Owner, Broadview Product Development

 

Patty Keller
Retired Teacher, Spring Lake Public Schools

 

Gloria LeMaire
Retired Executive Secretary

The Bluebird Experience

Imagine a weekend surrounded by others who truly understand your cancer journey. Picture strolling through nature, sharing stories that only kindred spirits can fully appreciate. Envision finding light even in the darkest of days.

At Bluebird Cancer Retreats, you'll discover a community that embraces you with open arms. Our programs offer a respite from the chaos of cancer - a chance to reflect, restore, and renew.

 

Together, we'll laugh, cry, and celebrate the gift of each moment. You'll leave with lifelong friendships, new insights, and a spirit rejuvenated.

Come experience the power of connection. Let us walk this path by your side. See our upcoming retreats or contact us today at 616-847-0839. We're here for you.

bottom of page