KAY’S KAMP & KAY’S FOUNDATION
On October 15th, 2005 my younger sister Kaylyn was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL; a form of blood cancer. Kaylyn had just started her senior year of high school at Red Lion Christian academy when her world, and ours, turned upside down. Over the next 15 months, Kay battled this horrible disease while trying to live as normal a life as possible.
In between chemotherapy treatments, Kay would study and turn in assignments when she could. At times she felt well enough to attend school sporting events, sing the opening number for her school musical, Annie Warbucks, and even join her senior class on their trip to Orlando, accompanied by our mom to keep an eye on her medications and activities.
Kay had made it into remission after her first regiment of chemotherapy, but after a few months she relapsed, and getting her back into remission proved challenging for doctors.
Kay almost made it to transplant three times, but as time went on it was clear that remission would never again be achieved. In March of 2007, doctors told us that the cancer was taking over faster than it could be controlled, and we were out of options. It was then, on March 8th 2007 that Kay made the decision to go home from the hospital on hospice care. Five days later, she was with her Savior.
Something you need to know about Kaylyn is that she loved the outdoors and she loved to go camping. So before she passed away, she asked us to start a summer camp for kids with cancer, because when you’re diagnosed with cancer as a kid, your world is changed forever and just being a “kid” becomes practically impossible. Kay wanted other kids like her to be able to live life to the fullest and have as much of a normal childhood as possible, in spite of cancer.
Today, Kay’s Kamp is a week-long, overnight camp experience for children with cancer and those now in remission. Kay’s Kamp provides a special place for these kids to escape the daily environment of hospitals, medications, pain and the discomfort associated with cancer and it’s treatment.
At Kay’s Kamp, kids with cancer can smile, laugh and play without being labeled as “different” or “sick.” It gives them a chance to regain their childhood, if only for a week! Kamp features a wide range of activities and entertainment while each Kamper is “medically supervised” by our team of doctors and nurses.
The Mission of Kay’s Kamp is to provide children ages 5 to 17 who are battling cancer and those now in remission the opportunity to participate in a unique camping experience promoting fun and normalcy – Free of Charge!
If you’d like to get involved or learn more about Kay’s Foundation and Kay’s Kamp, please visit www.kayskamp.org or send me a message below: