LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Pediatric cancer patients have the opportunity this summer get out in the sun and forget about their illness at summer camp.
19-year-old Hailey Meche has been a camper at Camp Quality for the past five years. It’s a camp for cancer patients and their siblings to relax, have fun and just be kids.
“There’s a lot more people that are like me that are going through a tough time, who are having a lot of fun here,” Meche said.
Meche was diagnosed with luekemia when she was only nine years old. Her treatment lasted for two and a half years.
“We’re all going through something horrible but it’s not the end of the world. We have people,” Meche said.
She’s since spent most of her summers at Camp Quality. Coordinator Daniel Ardito says it’s just like a regular summer camp – with horseback riding, zip lining, archery and kayaking.
“We don’t ever talk about the C word. We do not mention any illnesses. We do not talk of any of the negative, everything is happy,” Ardito said.
Campers are paired with companions, adult volunteers who mentor and guide their camper for the week.
“To watch the kids open up to the other adults and the campers and make friends that can understand them and have the same struggles as them, it’s a very beautiful thing,” Ardito said.
Meche is now a companion. She says it’s amazing to give back to an organization she loves and help out kids who have went through similar struggles as she did.
“It’s nice because it gives you solace. You don’t have to think about it. You can be a normal kid and do normal activities and have fun with other normal kid,” Meche said.
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