May 7, 2013 - From staff reportsAfter a successful debut last year for Wyoming's first childhood cancer camp, families affected by pediatric cancer are invited to attend this year's gathering: "Camp Courage Wyoming 2013" is planned for Aug. 16 to Aug. 18.
"Camp Courage Wyoming was created to bring childhood cancer patients and their loved ones together to provide a connection here in our state for these families," said Jessica Perez, Wyoming Comprehensive Cancer Control Program outreach coordinator with the Wyoming Department of Health.
The first Camp Courage Wyoming was held in August 2012 for 38 campers from 10 families. One adult camper said, "For me, as a father with all my son has been through, it was really amazing to get to talk to other fathers that have gone through similar things. I realize I am not alone, and I am normal in the way I feel."
Perez said from 2001 through 2010, there were 218 cases of cancer diagnosed in children and adolescents in Wyoming, an average of 22 cases per year.
"There are no cancer programs or hospitals in Wyoming staffed and equipped to handle these special cases and children must travel out of state to receive care and treatment," she said.
The camp was born through a partnership between Jason's Friends Foundation and the Wyoming Comprehensive Cancer Control Consortium and was funded through sales of a cancer survivor's cookbook, corporate sponsorships and private donations of time and materials. These efforts allowed the families to attend the camp free of charge.
Crooked Creek Guest Ranch near Dubois hosted last year's camp and supported the effort by closing their guest ranch to the public and providing staff, lodging, meals and activities at low rates.
"We were very appreciative of their help, as well as of the support provided by other sponsors and volunteers," Perez said.
For Wyoming families touched by pediatric cancer interested in participating in this year's camp, applications are available online at www.fightcancerwy.com. The deadline to apply is May 17.
For more information about attending or supporting Camp Courage Wyoming near Dubois please contact Perez at or 777-7362.
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