Cancer creates an instant crisis in the family. Extended hospital stays, weekly doctors’ visits, the side effects of treatment, and the constant possibility of unexpected complications add to the devastating blow to parents and family members who love the child.
The most important priority becomes getting your child well and in the flurry of urgency and uncertainty, the simple joys of childhood can get put on the backburner.
All children benefit greatly from playing and having fun, but for children with cancer, it becomes an essential part of their physical and emotional healing.
Cancer causes anxiety; Camp helps calm my fears.
Illness can be devastating at any age but is especially stressful for children. Camp helps reduce their fear and anxiety by providing opportunities where they can interact with other children, gain independence and make friends. They learn many of the skills necessary to meet the extraordinary challenges that they will face while fighting their disease.
Cancer treatment changed how I look; at Camp, I feel like myself.
Treatment can have many harsh side effects, including weight gain or loss, loss of hair, and amputation. At camp, children are with their friends who have experienced similar physical changes and accept their limitations. Camp allows children with cancer the opportunity to be themselves by taking the focus off of their disease and placing it on just being a kid and having fun. According to research, when children with cancer attend camp, they develop a greater respect for themselves and their abilities.
Cancer is exhausting for the whole family; Camp offers support and rest.
Camps provide parents with respite while assuring that their child is in a safe environment. Sibling programs are also important in helping families form stronger bonds and connect with other siblings who understand what they are going through.
Research has propelled a huge improvement in survival rates in recent decades – with currently a 5-year survival rate of 83.9% (National Cancer Institute). However, the psychosocial impact of childhood cancer cannot and should not be underestimated.
Each year in the United States and Canada, more than 17,000 children are newly diagnosed with cancer.
At Care Camps, we are dedicated to ensuring all kids with cancer have the opportunity to benefit from attending a specialized oncology camp.