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Erica Smith's Fundraiser:

Erica Smith-Kid Tough

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BENEFITING: CAMP CARE INC

Erica Smith

THE STORY:

Hello- My name is Erica Smith and I am a survivor of 19 years. I was diagnosed with Wilms tumor at the age of five. When it comes to telling a stranger that you remember 95% of your journey in fighting cancer, it is hard for them to wrap their minds around every detail of pain and joy combined through such a a difficult time. As a child fighting for your life, you view life much differently than your peers. You have been bald and skinny, pale and fragile. You spend many nights wishing you could eat but can't stand the smell of food. You may get a certain craving and eat a whole gravy biscuit at midnight. You will lose your baby cheeks and your chunky thighs. And it won't be just a small baby girl crying with every stroke of a hairbrush taking her hair away but her mother or any other close family member will be behind her holding back the many years they will shed as their child's life is drastically changing and there is nothing they can do. There are many parents who get the news that the Doctors are unable to cure their child as they sit up night after night just praying for one more day. Time is precious. The needle pokes become the norm and seeing blood may even make you burst out laughing. It is in those very fine moments when you learn a child handles lifes challenges like no other. I can't exactly remember camp care being explained to me other than the conversation that I could take my big brother with me. Now like most siblings we did not get along. However the night before camp the first year and all the ones that followed, that was the best night of every year. We had new flashlights, new swim suits, flip flops, beach towels and a full bag packed. We would spend the night before and the morning of singing and laughing. We were quite the entertainment in the car on that Monday morning. And we didn't stop for a good week after our return home.Our poor parents... Camp was a place where you didn't get laughed at for removing your wig and showing your small bald head. No one pointed at your scar or stared because your head or belly might not have lined up as perfectly as theirs. Everyone loved, everyone laughed, everyone cared. Camp was a place where we were able to remember those who did not make it to Camp with us that year. We would shed tears, pray, sing and lift our arms up to the heavens to let them know we were there not just to have fun but to celebrate their lives. Camp is a place for any child suffering. Camp is a place for healing, comfort, and independence. If you can help by sending in a few dollars, thank you. If money is not avaliable but you can be there, please come. Let's give our sweet children a place to look forward to. Let's let our children surround themselves by other children who are fighting just like they are. A peace of mind and a calmness will be an outcome. I promise you these six days that they are away will be a life changer. I hope this little passage helps knowledge people it's not just donating money. This is changing a very sick child's life. Much love xoxo Thank you, Erica -Fight Kid Tough

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