Nationwide organization supports children through their parent’s cancer

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University is one of the many colleges involved with Camp Kesem, which is a nationwide program.

Kesem is driven by passionate college student leaders, that support children through their parent’s or guardian’s cancer. Children ages six to 18 can go camping for a week in the summer that is completely free of charge to all who attend.

“We fundraise all year long for it. Our fundraising goal this year is $58,000 for the entire fiscal year. We raised $12,000 through Giving Tuesday, and we do a lot of other things to raise the money.”

Brady Ohrn,
Co-director at Camp Kesem WVU

The parent’s or guardian’s don’t have to be going through cancer to go to the summer camp. They could’ve had cancer in the past or going through remission.

Children can attend Camp Kesem until they age out. The staff recommends the campers to come back to meet new people and make more connections.

“Ultimately the main goal is to have campers come back every year. Once they turn 18, they can’t necessarily attend as a camper but they can join a chapter if they end up going to college and if their college has the program,” said Lillian Rhinehart, co-director at Camp Kesem.

With more than 5 million children impacted by a parent’s cancer, Camp Kesem continues to expand to meet this need.

“The Camp Kesem experience is a life-changing event and I look forward to going back to camp every year because the kids have made a large impact in my life,” said Brady.

Applications will open in January of each year and are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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