Camp is at the heart of Kids Cancer Care. Each camp program has been uniquely designed to meet not only the child's needs, but those of the whole family at each stage - from diagnosis, through treatment, to survival or bereavement and beyond.
For the 160 kids diagnosed with cancer annually in Alberta, cancer and its harsh treatments can be isolating and all-consuming. But then they have the chance to go to Camp Kindle, a place where they are not alone in their struggles. New-found camaraderie with peers brings understanding, encouragement, inspiration, laughter and comfort. Camp becomes the medicine for their hearts and minds, making it a vital part of their recovery.
This funding will help complete the exterior spaces at Camp Kindle, ensuring safety and accessibility for these special campers and allowing us to create an additional gathering space. As this project addresses infrastructure rather than direct programming, attaining funds from existing funders is more challenging.
Recent research reveals the vital role cancer camp plays in the healing and recovery of children and their families, including finding acceptance and belonging at a time when forced isolation and harsh medical treatments leave kids with cancer feeling estranged from their peers. By connecting with other kids in similar circumstances, cancer camp helps children make sense of their traumatic experiences through storytelling, bonding and sharing.
One of the less visible fall-outs of children's cancer is long-term psychological and social effects, similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. While medical professionals address the complex medical needs of children with cancer, cancer camp addresses their emotional and psychological needs. Camp Kindle plays an essential role in helping children and families cope with both the immediate and long-term aftermath of childhood cancer.
Camp Kindle is a truly magical place, and anything we can do to make this home away from home for children with cancer makes a difference in their lives.