Welcome to My Ultimate Hike Page
Let’s face it, cancer at any age sucks. But when a child gets cancer, it really sucks. I started learning firsthand about the devastating effects of cancer when my cousin Shelley was diagnosed and ultimately lost her battle to cancer at age 25. She loved life. She loved her friends and family, driving her Mustang with the top down, Coca-Cola, and even though she didn’t have her own, she loved children. After she passed, we celebrated her life and the special group of kids that became known as “Shelley’s Kids”.
It was her memory and love for kids that first inspired me to get involved with an amazing organization and group of people at Camp Happy Days in Charleston, SC. Their mission is to provide support and encouragement to families with children battling cancer through programs, events and assistance. Little did I realize at the time what an important part of my life the children, parents, volunteers and all the people that make up the Camp Happy Days family would become to me.
I’ve been volunteering as a photographer at camp and other events for the past four years. Camp is an indescribable experience. It’s awe inspiring to witness the hope, strength and encouragement the campers give each other, and to see them enjoy just being kids. Every year brings me closer to these kids, but it's heartbreaking to see new faces and to not see the precious faces of those no longer with us.
There's so much more that can be done to ensure that no child should ever have to face cancer. Only 4% of U.S. federal cancer research funding goes to studying pediatric cancer. Every day 43 children are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. and of those 43, five will not survive. For the survivors, 60% of children will suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers. Most people also don't realize the emotional impact cancer has on siblings - including grief, abandonment, guilt, anxiety and fear.
So this year, I’ve committed to raising money to help end childhood cancer. On Novermber 10, I'll be joining a Camp Happy Days team and hiking 28.3 miles in The Ultimate Hike. Please donate to support my team as we try to reach our fundraising goal and do what we can to eradicate children's cancer for good.
I’m hiking in memory of Shelley, Skylar, Austin, Kaylin, Trevor, Meghan, Alex, Wil, Merrick, Jay'von, Pearl and all those we’ve loved and lost. I’m hiking in honor of all the Camp Happy Days kids who are still fighting. To get a small glimpse into why I'm hiking and why I volunteer, check out this video I made from last year's camp: https://youtu.be/OkxOUeOzLxI (copy and paste the link into a new browser tab)
And remember, until there's a cure, there's Camp Happy Days.
With thanks and love,
#gogold #curesearch #camphappydays #kidskickincancer
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