Fort Worth

Summer Camp Helps Children Deal With Family Member's Cancer Diagnosis

On a hot summer day, the pool is where 75 children gathered at the YMCA Camp Carter in Fort Worth on Monday morning. The campers were different ages and from different backgrounds, but they all had one thing in common. 

"Somebody in their family has cancer," said 14-year old Ranger whose mother recently finished cancer treatment. "It was one minute she didn't and then she told me, 'yeah, I have cancer now,' and it just happened so quick."

The week-long Cancer Cares Camp is for children who have a sibling, parent, or grandparent battling cancer.

"It's easy to start up a conversation with these people," said nine-year-old Kahli, whose mother is a cancer survivor. "It kinda made me notice how strong I am and how strong my mom is."

The kids participate in typical summer camp activities, but they also have therapeutic activities to help them deal with the stress, anxiety, anger, sadness, and fear watching a loved one go through cancer.

"It's made me more grateful for everything. I don't just take stuff for granted anymore, you know," said 12-year old Amaris, whose father recently finished cancer treatment. Amaris said she still worries. "That the cancer will come back."

"I lost my dad from cancer when I was really little," explained Tori Mudge, Cancer Cares Volunteer Coordinator. Mudge said the camp gives kids a chance to talk about the things they don't talk about with other friends. "Cause you don't go to school every day and talk about your mom having cancer, or your dad having cancer, or your brother having cancer. So I think that's kinda what makes it special."

The free camp is made possible through a grant from the Sportsman's Club of Fort Worth.

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