Family comes first at camp

group of people sitting together watching the sunset

In September 2007, our lives were ripped apart in less than 24 hours. After what I thought was a routine doctor’s appointment and blood work, we received a call. “A bed is ready at McMaster and you need to get your daughter to the hospital as soon as possible.”

The first three months of the diagnosis was spent more or less living at the hospital. My two boys did not know how to cope. They were jealous that their sister was getting more attention than they were.

And then, a tragic accident happened—my daughter broke her arm and leg. She was in so much pain. We felt lost; we felt adrift. We didn’t know what to do.

During those traumatic times, people told us we should try family camp. I just said we were not ready yet. Boy, was I ever wrong. Cancer doesn’t just affect the diagnosed child—it touches every family member. My whole family needed camp— we just didn’t know it yet.

At camp, my daughter learned that she is not going to get hurt—she learned to be adventurous again. The boys are just grateful they get to go to camp! The kids blend in. They know about nose tubes or bald heads and are okay with it. It’s an environment of comfort and nurturing. Most of all, you feel special!

My daughter felt alive again after her first camp experience. Thank you! And thank you for the memories created and many more to come.

*Camper and family names and images have been changed to protect privacy

Making the seemingly impossible, possible

Medical volunteers make milestones memorable

Share your story

If you would like to share your camp story with us, please contact:

Michelle Guignard

Development Coordinator, Annual Giving

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