LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was a heartwarming night for Louisville families impacted by childhood cancer. At Gilda's Club, kids and families were able to reunite in person for the first time in 15 months.
Glen Bayne said he's been looking forward to summer camp at Gilda's Club, but the pandemic kept many friends apart.
"I had to play by myself like 24/7," said Bayne, who was back at Gilda's Club on Monday night.
"Basically, it's an awesome organization for kids who know people that had cancer," said the 9-year-old, who knows that journey first-hand. "I had cancer a little bit before I turned 2."
"Just before his second birthday, he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a tumor, and it was stage 4," said Glen's mom, Catie.
She said Glen went through chemo, radiation, several surgeries and still has some side effects. But being back with friends — in person — brings her son new energy.
"It's wonderful," she said. "He just loosens up, lightens up, has a great time. It's really good for him to see other kids that have similar situations."
Gilda's Club is a support community for cancer patients and their families.
"The symptoms we treat ... fear, anxiety, helplessness, hopelessness, depression ... those symptoms can impact the entire family," said President and CEO Karen Morrison.
Seeing other families after more than a year was bittersweet.
"It's also sad because there are some families whose children are not here this year, that didn't make it through the year," said Catie. "Not because of COVID, but because of cancer."
But with the sadness comes others' celebrations.
"My 6-year cancer free (anniversary) is a little bit after my birthday, in like 10 or 20 days," Glen said.
"He is in good health and happy, and that's all we can ask for," said Catie.
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