Indian Summer Camp celebrates kids battling cancer
More than a hundred kids facing childhood cancer travel to Indian Summer Camp every year.
SHELBY COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kids Cancer Alliance is hosting its 35th annual Indian Summer Camp this week.
The week-long camp is for children battling cancer and for those who have beaten the illness.
The campers say they look forward to this week more than any other in the year.
"All these events that they plan for us, it just makes us forget everything that's happened and makes us feel like we're free for a whole week," said Brenton Clem, a 13-year-old camper who battled liver cancer.
"We love this camp so much, and it's my favorite camp to go to," said Madeline Shore and Kaitlyn Woodard, two 9-year-old campers battling leukemia.
Every summer, for one week, more than a hundred kids from Kentuckiana travel to Indian Summer Camp in Shelby County to escape their reality of cancer.
"It's a chance for them to kind of talk about their treatments, talk with somebody who has been through the same thing, and they're comfortable with talking about it because people understand," said Bradley Dennis, a camp counselor.
The overnight camp's mission is to bring kids who share the same struggles together.
"They know what I've been through, they know me better than anyone else. We feel a special connection. All of us do," Clem said.
The kids, ages six to 18, play games and take part in daily activities, giving each one a chance to regain a piece of his or her childhood.
And no one understands that more than the counselors who were once campers themselves.
"When I transitioned from a camper to a counselor, I wanted to give back because I remember all the great counselors I had when I was a kid," Dennis said.
Woodard and Shore met at Indian Summer Camp three years ago.
"We are mainly best friends here. Yep, we met each other when we were how old? Six. Yeah, six," Shore and Woodard said.
"We both had leukemia, but she had it twice," Shore said.
Together, they face a deadly disease and continue to beat it.
"It just feels really good, and also, it just makes me feel like I've won a war with my body," Shore said.
"When I was little, and I first came here for day camp, I thought I was the only one that had cancer," Woodard said.
"I just like coming here, because I always remember that I'm not the only one that has cancer."
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