Going away on a sleep-away camp is a rite of passage for many children.
But for the children on Camp Quality’s Telethon-funded KICC camps it’s extra special.
KICC stands for Kids Impacted by a Carer’s Cancer.
A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying — not only for the person who receives it, but for their family. Australia-wide, up to 16,000 children face this reality every year.
The three-day KICC camps offer laughter, distraction, and coping techniques.
“Children who have a parent or carer diagnosed with cancer often miss out on the fun of childhood,” said Maddison See, the Family program team leader.
“At home, they’re having to sometimes take on the responsibilities that an adult would have. The camps just let kids be kids.”
The kids play games, take part in fun activities, and make new friends. Importantly, they know that they’re not alone.
“At camp we don’t talk about cancer that much, because we want to give kids the chance to have fun,” Ms See said.
“But you do find some of the kids having those little conversations, whether they’re back at the dorms, or while they’re doing an activity.
“Just knowing that they’re not alone is really important. There are kids going through the same thing that they are.”
More than 40 families have attended KICC camps so far — a number that the organisation hopes to increase with the help of Telethon.
“Without the generosity and support of Telethon, none of this would be possible,” Ms See said.
“The funding helps us bring positivity into the lives of these children.”