Published on April 13, 2012

Camp Genesis -- A Break From Cancer In The Family

Sign-up by May 4

Cancer does not only impact the patient. Children, grandchildren, spouses and other loved ones can be involved in the cancer fight, too.

Cancer can disrupt families and their finances, making vacations more difficult to take. It also can be isolating for kids; their young friends don’t know how to react or help.

From July 8-13, Genesis Health System, Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities and the Scott County Family Y will provide an opportunity for kids coping with cancer in their families to share a common bond at Scott County Family Y Camp Abe Lincoln in Blue Grass, Iowa.

For the fifth year, Camp Genesis will offer youth ages 6-16 with a weeklong, overnight resident camp experience and special cancer education programs by Gilda’s Club and Genesis. The usual camp fee will be donated by Genesis.

“This camp provides a much-needed opportunity for kids to just be kids,’’ says Sally Werner, Director, Genesis Cancer Care Institute. “It also provides relief for their parents, who may be stressed by illness and financial concerns and need time to reflect, relax and recuperate.”

Youth impacted by cancer in their family can enjoy a great Y camp experience – from campfires and canoeing to horseback-riding and swimming – at Camp Abe Lincoln. The 250-acre camp has a pool with zero-depth entry and large slides, an Alpine Tower climbing experience, horseback riding, and a lake big enough for paddling.

Support and education

Mixed in with fun will be daily education from Gilda’s Club experts, who will help campers cope with the stresses on their families caused by cancer. They learn about ways to cope with the disease and build friendships with children who are going through a similar situation.

Campers also take a mid-week field trip to the Genesis Cancer Care Institute, where they familiarize themselves with cancer-fighting technology; see radiation treatment planning; learn about cancer nutrition, rehabilitation exercise and the harmful effects of the sun and tobacco use; see a mock chemotherapy infusion; and, even try on wigs.

Parent Night

Parents will be invited to attend a Parent Night at the Genesis on Wednesday, July 11, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to hear about what their kids have been learning at camp and about the services available at Genesis to serve the needs of cancer patients and their families.

“It is especially difficult for children affected by cancer to talk to their family and friends, to express fears, to ask questions, and explore their feelings,’’ said Claudia Robinson, Executive Director of Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities.

“Because it is impossible for children to change things beyond their control, it is important to help them identify and express what they realistically do control. Camp Genesis helps children learn to overcome obstacles in a fun and enriching environment.’’

The Genesis Cancer Care Institute in Davenport has transformed cancer care in the region with new technology, renovated facilities and an expanded focus on treating the “whole’’ cancer patient and their families. Gilda’s Club has an office at the Genesis Cancer Care Institute and offers its special support.

Sign up now

Anyone who knows a child affected by cancer in their family is encouraged to call Gilda’s Club Quad Cities at (563) 326-7504 for more information. Applications can be downloaded at www.gildasclubqc.org (click on the Camp Genesis link.) Sign up by May 4.

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