Camp Fantastic Brings Out the Best in Young Cancer Patients

Published 08/19 2014 06:15PM

Updated 08/19 2014 07:40PM

FRONT ROYAL, Va. - Anyone living with cancer knows it can be a physical and emotional struggle, especially at a very young age.

Camp Fantastic has become a place for young cancer patients to live a normal childhood for a few days, taking a break from the hospital life.

"Normal people think they can be in our shoes, but it's actually harder than that," said Aleeah Murkey, patient.

Victoria Ali, one of the many campers there, suffered from a brain tumor but she has not let that bring her down.

"Never ever give up. Even if you're puking, think of it as a way of getting you stronger. 'What doesn't kill you makes you strong you, stand a little taller'," sang Ali.

"There's going to be bumps in the road on the way through, but you'll always get through it because I have God on my side, so I know he'll help me," said Abby Snyder, patient.

As for some, they said sticking through the pain was well worth the wait.

"You can get through it. Once you get through it, it pays off. It'll pay off," said Andrew Christian, patient.

Each day at the camp is filled with a different activity and on Tuesday, campers had the opportunity to experiment with ham radio, speaking to thousands from across the world.

"Well, I think it gives them an idea of things that they can do. Things that are out there. It's a great hobby if any of them wanted to take up a hobby. Most of the kids here can probably pick up very quickly on it," added Ronald Meihls, ham radio operator.

Camp Fantastic has welcomed old and new campers every year, and it has become a special place in every patient's heart.

"I feel like [there's] the bond between us, because we all have been through the same thing. And it's something that's really special to me and I just wanted to like, have a week of fun and be away from the kind of real world," said Britteny Etiene, patient.

"Just be strong, and don't worry about other people," said Murkey.

Camp Fantastic has many upcoming events for older-aged patients as well. If you are interested in upcoming events, click here.


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