Inspirational People

survivorsSpecial Love’s mission is to provide “support services” to children with cancer and their families. Some of those services we can provide directly — scholarships, transportation to camp, etc — and some, perhaps the most important, require that we get out-of-the-way and let inspirational people share who they are with people who need inspiration.

survivorsThis April Special Love held its annual “Spring Weekend,” the somewhat unofficial “welcome to camp” event that seems to kick off our event calendar. While we have lots of new campers and families at every event, Spring is about new beginnings and it is always a mixed pleasure to meet new friends and welcome them to the Special Love family. I say a “mixed pleasure” because, while Camp is a great and wonderful place, the circumstances that bring families to Special Love are dire ones.

 

Cancer is terrifying and as Randall Munroe, author of the incredibly geeky XKCD web-comic, notes, it comes to dominate both a patient’s and caregiver’s life in a way that is really hard to appreciate unless you’ve been there yourself. Cancer looms large and, when facing it, it can be hard to imagine that there can be anything else in the world.

 

For me, Special Love was and is a reality check on the enormity of that fear. In a few months Special Love families will return to the Northern Virginia 4H center for Reunion Weekend (June 15th – 17th) for one of the most powerful events that this organization holds. Childhood cancer survivors, even some of our original campers who attended that first camp 29 years ago, will return with spouses and children in tow. They will smile, sigh, laugh, and cry over camp memories and tales of old friends and reconnect with volunteers and other staff who remember them as children.

 

But perhaps most importantly they will share – just by their very presence – one of cancer’s most elusive and important lessons: “this too shall pass.”

 

When I was treated – back in 1989 (or “shortly after the earth cooled” as I tell campers) – Special Love already had staff and volunteers who had survived childhood cancer. To see them – cured, vibrant, and full of energy – gave me hope and reassured me that there was a future – a whole universe of possibilities – after cancer.

 

Special Love’s mission is to provide “support services” to children with cancer and their families. Some of those services we can provide directly — scholarships, transportation to camp, etc — and some, perhaps the most important, require that we get out-of-the-way and let inspirational people share who they are with people who need inspiration.

 

We hope you will join us for Reunion Weekend to inspire or be inspired.

HELP CHILDREN WITH CANCER AND THEIR FAMILIES CELEBRATE SUMMERWe need your help!

Due to COVID19 restrictions, we will not be having week long camps this year. That means we are bringing the show on the road! Your donation helps us bring exciting day-long events to children with cancer and their families this summer!