07:10 AM

Camp Hope lives up to its name

Sixty-eight children and 109 volunteers have moved into the dorms at Barton Community College this week for what some believe is the best camp ever. Some have already run in the Human Hamster Ball, caught a fish or sprinted through a Color Run. Before the week is over, they will have done much more, said Barb Keltner, the camp media volunteer.

Camp Hope is free and open to children across Kansas and surrounding areas ages 6 to 17 years old who have, or have had, cancer. The goal is to let them enjoy everything that makes summer time and summer camp special. Medical personnel are available around the clock to administer routine chemotherapy, arrange for blood counts, administer medications, handle medical emergencies, and adjust any programs to campers' needs, Keltner said.

Hannah Peterson from Independence, Mo., was diagnosed with cancer when she was 17 and could only attend as a camper for one year. "I was One and Done," she said.

Now volunteering for her seventh year, Peterson said she initially resisted coming to Camp Hope because she thought "camp is for kids."

Her doctor at Children's Mercy Hospital thought otherwise, and ordered her to go.

"He said, ‘I saved your life,'" so there was no arguing, Peterson said. "I went to camp and it was the best time of my life."

Read more via Great Bend Tribune