Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Parent to Parent: Special Needs Camp
Lots of kids look forward to going away to summer camp, but some don't ever get that experience because they're battling an illness. 7's Lynn Martinez shows us a very special camp in Florida that's making dreams come true. Here's tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Like most boys his age, 9-year-old Aref loves riding his bike and playing games with his family, but a year ago, their lives were turned upsidedown.
Anuar Abdala: "He started for some months with a pain in his leg, but that's normal, you're playing soccer."
But the pain got so bad they rushed him to the hospital where doctors found cancer.
Aref Abdala: "It was really painful, I was really tired."
Aref started chemo right away he lost his hair, but his family never lost sight of what was truly important letting him be a kid.
Anuar Abdala: "You have to keep going, you can't close the windows, and turn off your phone, because life continues."
That's where Camp Boggy Creek comes in the camp, just outside of Orlando sent us this video to show you what a unique place it is.
Dr. Brian Cauff: "It's a camp that provides experiences to children with chronic diseases."
The camp offers these kids a safe place to go to experience a real summer camp.
Dr. Brian Cauff: "There's a rock climbing wall, there's a zipline, there's horses."
Each week is dedicated to a different illness so there's a camp for kids with asthma, arthritis and cancer. Aref is excited about going to Boggy Creek this summer.
Aref Abdala: "I'm going swimming. I'm going fishing."
At first, his parents were hesitant about sending him but were relieved to find out the camp is fully staffed with doctors and nurses.
Anuar Abdala: "He can't be in better hands for that week."
And kids like Aref get to meet other kids going through a similar experience.
Dr. Brian Cauff: "These are patients who have cancer and patients who had cancer, so there's something to be learned and shared from both ends."
The best part? The camp allows kids to forget about being sick for a while and just be kids.
Lynn Martinez: "No charge for kids to go to this great camp, so Boggy Creek relies heavily on donations."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Camp Boggy Creek
30500 Brantley Branch Road
Eustis, FL 32736
Tel: (866) 462-6449