Posted December 17, 2012 by jimhigley
This is a show about kids who have parents with cancer, have had cancer, or have lost their lives to cancer. And it’s a show that will make you feel good, uplifted, and hopeful.
Though cancer is often thought of as a disease striking later in life, new research shows that 18 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients are parents to one or more minor children. Of those patients, nearly a third of them are caring for children under the age of six. And those kids – estimated at nearly 3 million in the United States – deal with an assortment of challenges themselves. Simply put, many of them lose a part of their precious childhood.
But there is a respite for those kids. A place called Camp Kesem. A magical, loving, and totally free experience for kids whose parent’s lives have been afflicted with cancer.
Today, we’ll be talking to Camp Kesem CEO Jane Saccaro to learn more about the history of this remarkable place which not only helps kids – but provides life-changing experiences for college students who run the 41 (and expanding!) camps throughout the U.S.
The strength of Camp Kesem is rooted in the belief that kids need to be given the opportunity to be kids.
“At home, these kids are facing a lot,” explains Saccaro. “And the reality is that most of their peer group can’t relate. Just the basic step of putting them in an environment where everyone understands them brings them a sense of peace.”
We’ll also talk to one of the many volunteers who provide the backbone for Camp Kesem – professional therapist Ben Weast. You’ll hear from Ben about the special needs these kids have – and why Camp Kesem works.
“You’ll watch these kids at camp – whatever they are doing,” explains Weast. “And you can’t help but draw energy from them because you realize how much resilience they have.”
This really is a show about magic. Treat yourself to learn more about Camp Kesem so you can pass on wonderful, helpful information to your next friend or loved one who is going through a cancer journey!