When your child gets diagnosed with a critical illness it’s easy to feel like the unluckiest family in the world.You feel alone, lost and afraid. If that is how I feel as an adult can you imagine what a child must feel? Chai Lifeline Canada came into our lives when we really needed hope, love and support on our side. In the two years since we have been living in the reality of paediatric cancer, Chai has been with us every step of the way. You honestly feel like family to us now.

Rifky had asked me a very meaningful question the other day. She asked” What does camp mean to your family?” The answer has many layers but I will try to break it down. When Camp Lifeline offered Selena a spot last year I was fearful. Selena had just completed an aggressive chemo protocol that had left her fragile. She was immune compromised, was weak and that was just the physical side her emotions were all over the place as well. Camp Lifeline took all that into consideration and gave her a safe place to just have fun. Under the supervision of a nurse, I as a parent knew she was safe. What that did for Selena was help her feel joy and like a kid again, I know of no better medicine then that. As a bonus she made a friend that to do this day she remains close with. This year camp means Selena can once again just be a kid in a safe environment that takes into consideration her medical as well as her emotional needs. This year she came out of her shell even more , I am watching her gain confidence from her camp experience. Back to Rifky’s question, Camp Lifeline simply means everything to us. To know that everyday Selena wants to get out of bed to see what adventure is in store for her. Pick her up at the end of the day only to hear, the day is too short I want to stay. Knowing she is happy despite long hospital days, scans, pokes and the ugly black cloud of cancer hovering over her. Knowing a rainbow shines brighter then the darkest cloud is basically how I would explain what camp means to us as a family of a child with special medical needs.

To the counsellors, organizers, the nurse, the case workers, the community that donates so that my child can attend camp and all the fun activities through the year.

THANK YOU from my heart to your ears!

Natasha Koss

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