Day 2: “My life would not be the same if I did not keep going to Camp. I would not have the friends I do today or the memories. Camp made every shot, every chemo and radiation therapy worth it. I love Camp, [they are] my family.” – Loni “Mumbles” Merritt
Smiles and Laughter are a huge part of the healing process when you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. At Seany’s Camp Reach for the Sky, we take that job VERY seriously.
In efforts to raise support for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month we would to challenge you to participate in Seany’s Cancer Crush. To do this all you have to do is crush your very own watermelon (or anything you want: cans, fruits, etc). After you’ve done that tag two people in your post and they will have 48 hours to do their own Seany’s Cancer Crush or donate $25 to The Seany Foundation. This can be done at https://theseanyfoundation.secure.force.com/donate . So let’s get on this one guys and raise awareness for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Andrew Penna Danica Voight
Posted by The Seany Foundation on Wednesday, September 2, 2015
We are so excited to once again, get the word out about Childhood Cancer Awareness. This year, we will be talking with survivors, siblings, parents, and friends about their personal experiences with pediatric cancer. We will be posting on social media as well as right here, so check back with us in September to learn more.
Thanks for the wonderful memories at #ROCcamp! This is just a small glimpse of what camp at Seany’s Camp Reach for the Sky is like. Enjoy!
When Stefanie was 8 years old, she lost her mother to breast cancer. Stefanie closed off from the world; she didn’t want to burden others with the weight of her feelings, and she thought no one could understand what she had gone through. That all changed the day she joined Camp Reach for the Sky.
“At camp, after the first day it was completely different. I met people who could not only understand the pain I had been through, but they knew from experience,” explains Stefanie. The people at camp quickly became family, which allowed Stefanie the space she needed to laugh, cry, and express all of those difficult emotions she had been bottling up inside for years.
As a counselor at camp, Stefanie gets to give back to the people who have given her so much strength and support. “The kids’ smiles melt your heart and to see that they get so much out of camp is incredible…”
Not everyone has been supportive of Stefanie’s love and dedication to the kids at Camp Reach for the Sky. “I quit my job in order to be at camp…my old job was not going to give me the time off so I made the decision to quit my job and be a part of camp. It was the best decision I have ever made.”
Stefanie shares one of her favorite memories from camp:
It was the last-night campfire of “Sibs Camp” (Sibling Camp) when one of the skits was going on and I looked around at everyone sitting, watching, and laughing and I got teary eyed for a moment because I didn’t want it to end…I wanted that moment to last forever and to stay with these people, happy and laughing, forever.
At 21, Stefanie is still taking away important life lessons from camp. “I have realized how amazing and strong the kids are and they really inspire me to do more, and really give me more drive in my life. When I went to camp this past summer I was dealing with a lot of personal issues and challenges and camp allowed me to really figure myself out and it did so much more for me than I ever thought possible.”
A 21-year-old from San Diego, CA, Maggie bakes and spends as much time as possible with her family. She also likes watching movies and has beento a few Seany Movie Nights. (“Going to see a movie with other patients and their families was great. Hearing them all laugh and seeing them all smile is an amazing site.”) But maggie also spends a lot of her time getting cancer treatments.
Maggie was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on May 20, 2009. She has relapsed twice in her right lung. “Before l was diagnosed, there where some days that I couldn’t walk on [my right leg]. it had a really hot spot; after the six months, that hot spot became a big bump.” Maggie was misdiagnosed with growing pains for six months.
To cope with the stress from treatment and being in the hospital, Maggie watched a lot of baking shows. And every time she was able to go home (“whlch wasn’t a lot”), she would go shopping. She’s also very thankful for the support her friends and family gave her while in the hospital. “My best friend showed her love and support by sending me a card every day.” Maggie’s three closest guy friends also visited Maggie nearly every weekend. Two of those guys even shaved their heads to show support. “We were all bald for awhile.” Also, her family spent as much time as possible with Maggie, bringing her movies to watch, stuff to eat (if she could eat at the time), and tea to drink. “My whole family, friends, and neighbors showed a lot of love and support for me.”
“For those people that aren’t currently dealing with cancer would just like to tell them don’t take the little things in life for granted. Like walking to the kitchen, eating your favorite meal, brushing your hair. Cancer just didn’t affect me; it affected everyone in my life. You need to support the child that is dealing with this disease but remember that their families need just as much as sup- port. They are going through this with their loved one. Maybe not physically but emotionally.”