To a kid, nothing is better than summer— it's three sunshine-filled months packed with fun, friends and not a worry in the world. But unfortunately, that isn't the case for every child in the Valley, and the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF) knows that all too well.
Doctor appointments, tests, chemotherapy-- that's what summer means for a child battling cancer. Luckily, thanks to the NCCF, there's a place where local patients and their siblings can take a break from all that -Camp Cartwheel!
In years past Camp Cartwheel took place at Camp Torino located in Mount Charleston. However, due to recent devastating wildfires it had to be moved to Sandy Valley. A resident there, a man campers refer to as Uncle Al donated his ranch so Camp would go on this year.
The ranch hosts a lake, water slide, extensive arts and crafts section and even horseback riding! There's also a fully equipped medical team with volunteer doctors and nurses, ready to jump in if needed. And, as always, Camp is stocked with the best medicine: laughter.
There's so much excitement that it's easy to forget the unfair cards that these campers were dealt. Because camp can be an additional cost to mounting medical bills, FOX5 and Bally Technologies teamed up for a ‘Camp Cartwheel Facebook Like Drive'. With each new ‘like' added to the FOX5 Facebook page, Bally Technologies donated $1. In total, $2500 was raised and 10 extra local kids and their siblings got the chance to go to camp.
"It takes a village to do something like this and the response of this community has been absolutely unbelievable. It brings tears to my eyes," said Jeff Gordon, CEO and President of NCCF.
At the check presentation, a group of employees from Bally Technologies were invited to experience Camp first hand. As soon as they arrived with a check, cupcakes and water guns in hand, their inner child was ready to come out and play.
"All of us have been touched by someone in our lives that's gone through the journey of cancer but to be here with these children… it's just inspiring," said Bruce Rowe from Bally Technologies.
As kids and adults battled with water guns, jumped in the lake, built crafts and formed friendships, it was easy to see the magic in Camp Cartwheel. It reminded everyone who entered what it's like to just be a kid again – smiling, stress free and loving summer.
*The Nevada Cancer Childhood Foundation accepts donations year round for Camp Cartwheel. To help send a child to camp click here.