GoodNewZ: Camp relieves children with cancer-stricken loved ones - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

GoodNewZ: Camp relieves children with cancer-stricken loved ones

TOLEDO (WTOL) - When a person is diagnosed with cancer, the patient isn't the only one who suffers. Loved ones can find it very hard to deal with, especially kids.

That's why ProMedica created their CHAMPS program. We're taking you to the champs camp in today's good news.

CHAMPS stands for "choosing hope and moving past sadness."

For three days, these kids get the chance to forget their lives have been touched by cancer.

"It just is a really great support for them and give them an opportunity to come out and be supportive to each other and just have a fun time too," said Bonnie GratopHickmand, a Cancer Ctr. Social Worker.

Campers get meals, crafts and activities, and time in the pool at the YMCA-JCC in Sylvania, all for free. But, their camp isn't just games. It can help them deal with what's going on. "We have an art therapist from the Toledo Children's Hospital that comes and does that for about an hour and a half with the kids each morning," said GratopHickmand.

The kids are happy to be champs. "It helps me know that other people in the world have somebody or a loved one that has cancer," said CHAMPS camp participant Rose.

Eight-year-old Bobby Guth says his new friends help because they're going through the same things. "There are people you can talk to and share your feelings with."

Each participant is getting the chance to concentrate on something other than cancer. "This is the best camp ever!" one participant told us.

This summer's CHAMPS participants have said goodbye to their new buddies, but ProMedica has a similar program coming in September called "Next Step."

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