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Free Virginia camp for children dealing with parent's cancer

Camp Kesem for kids dealing with parent's cancer.
Camp Kesem for kids dealing with parent's cancer.

Dealing with cancer is difficult for everyone involved. With 1.7 million cancer cases each year in the United States, there are more than 3 million children affected by a parent's cancer.

In 2013, then VCU sophomore Jenny Holmgrain applied and received a matching grant from the LIVESTRONG Foundation to establish a campus presence for Camp Kesem at VCU in Richmond, Virginia. The national network of campus organizations empowers college students across universities to build a network of support for kids facing a parent’s cancer through hosting an annual summer camp. VCU’s inaugural camp takes place this August 11-15, 2014 and is free to attend with 30 camper spots available by registering at this link.

“We are really excited to have our first camp this summer. It will definitely be a life changing experience for the kids. My sister went to Camp Kesem at George Washington University a few years ago and when she came back, she was a changed kid,” Holmgrain said. “She smiled and laughed more often and I am very grateful for that. I now want to help other children the way Camp Kesem helped my sister.”

The camp is open to those 6 to 16-year-old kids who have been affected by a parent’s cancer. Camp Kesem gives participants an opportunity to focus on being a kid. Participants receive transportation to and from VCU to Harrisonburg’s Camp Horizons, a fun-filled week of activities, and an opportunity to share their experience with others.

Richmond area families are encouraged to apply by April 30, 2014. Campers will receive confirmation of participation within two weeks of applying. Camp Kesem will try to accommodate those wait-listed through working with other affiliated Virginia camps.

Visit the website to learn more.