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Gilda’s Club to host two camp session for kids dealing with cancer

Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids, Camp Sparkle
Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids

Registration is open for children dealing with cancer to attend a free camp in West Michigan

For 23 years, Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids has held Camp Sparkle: a free day camp for children who have had cancer, been impacted by someone with cancer, or are grieving the death of a loved one.

112 “One in every 13 kids before the age of 18 will experience the death of a parent or sibling and to me that’s a little bit mindboggling when you look at the number of youth that have had such a close connection to grief.”

Wendy Wigger is president of Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids. This year the camp will hold a session for grief support in June and another for cancer support in July facilitated by professional staff and trained volunteers. Wigger says the biggest impact comes from kids connecting with other kids.

4:08 “You bring them together and they suddenly realize, ‘Oh, you had somebody who died in your life? I did too.’ And just to be able to recognize they’re not alone is such an incredible experience.”

Camp Sparkle balances difficult emotional discussions with simply having fun.

8:04 “I think that’s what Camp Sparkle does is help to provide that overall community and support to talk about some of life’s toughest stuff whether it’s somebody in my life has cancer and I’m not sure what’s going to happen, or somebody in my life died and this is how its impacting me.”

Camp is free but registration is required. More information can be found on the website for Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids.

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