Summer camp free for keiki with cancer

HONOLULU — For many children whose lives have been affected by cancer, summer camp seems like an impossible dream.

The American Cancer Society is making that dream a reality.

The ACS’ Camp Anuenue, is a free, week-long summer camp for children, ages 7 to 18, who have or have had cancer.

Registration for this year’s camp is taking place now.

A camper’s only requirement is to have a great time. Campers do not have to be in remission to attend.

 Medical professionals and qualified counselors are on staff 24 hours a day and transportation to Honolulu for treatment is provided.

There is no cost to the child or their family for this week-long camp.

This year’s camp is scheduled for June 3 to 9 at Camp Mokule‘ia on the North Shore of O‘ahu.

Children from across Hawai‘i, Guam and the Pacific islands who are registered with their local ACS field office can attend this fun-filled week of activities, encouragement, and friendship.

A variety of activities include swimming, stand up paddling, outrigger canoeing, archery, zip-lining, arts and crafts, cosmic bowling, camp fires and dance night with a professional makeover.

“Children and teenagers with cancer are confronted with many new unpleasant experiences … lengthy therapy … many unwanted and bothersome side effects … lots of time in the hospital,” Dr. Desiree Medeiros said.

“They feel isolated and ‘different.’ Camp gives them the opportunity to come together, be with other children who have had the same experiences, and just ‘feel normal.’”

Medeiros said that in the camp, children can forget that they are supposed to be sick.

“By the end of the week, many of the campers will leave camp with improved self-esteem and new friendships that will last a lifetime,” she said.

Parents are encouraged to enroll their children as soon as possible as spots are limited and the camp fills up quickly.

Enrollment can be made at acshawaiipacific.org/camp-anuenue or by calling Debra Glowik, Director of Camp Programs at (808) 489-7425.

Visit www.cancer.org or call (800) 227-2345 for more information on ACS or to request help.

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