By Gary Palgon, VP Healthcare Solutions, Liaison Healthcare Informatics
As an outsider, the thought of calling it “Cancer Camp” may sound strange. And you’d also be amazed that the kids jokingly refer to themselves as the “poor little sick kids” at Camp Sunshine. But having served as a volunteer counselor for the last 16 years, I know that the children attending camp feel soooo comfortable in their surroundings that they can joke about it. Camp Sunshine gives them the opportunity for a week for them to “just be a normal kid.”
We all have stressful days throughout our lives, but it only takes one day to understand what children with cancer, or any threatening disease, have and/or do go through on a daily basis. While my wife and I have been fortunate enough to have two healthy children, Camp Sunshine is my way of doing just a little bit to give back to the world. I started volunteering in 1990 after college and began spending a full week each summer there in 1996. For the past 12 years, I’ve been chairman of the Keencheefoonee Road Race, which has become the single largest fundraiser for the organization.
So while you were hard at work last week, I was having fun fishing or on a “Polar Bear” swim at 7am, and going non-stop until the evening. I was fortunate to spend my week with over 240 campers that are either experiencing “Cancer Camp” for the first time or are coming back to what they have been looking forward to for the last year, so they can “just be kids.”