VALRICO, Fla. - This YMCA camp at the Campos Family YMCA in Valrico, Florida isn’t like any other. It’s for children who are cancer survivors or currently fighting cancer.
The camp has been designed with activities to help children who have been through treatments like chemotherapy, to develop and improve strength, endurance, flexibility, and hand-eye coordination.
The program is flexible, and the classes are small, so certified trainer Bart Guida can target each child’s specific needs as directed by a parent or oncologist.
Parents in the program say it has allowed their children to regain energy and rebuild strength in a way that doesn’t feel like work.
And just as important as the physical therapy is the chance for them to bond with their peers, often after long periods spent in hospitals. For children this young, being able to make friends with others who can appreciate their difficult journeys makes all the difference.
“The stability in coming to a program like this, meeting people you are going to end up being lifelong friends with is important,” parent Moriah Barnhart told Fox 13 Tampa.
It’s a chance for children who have been through so much not just to feel better, but to feel like kids too.