BENEFITING: CAMP SUNSHINE AT SEBAGO LAKE
EVENT: A.J.'S NEW JERSEY POLAR DIP
EVENT DATE: Feb 08, 2014
Joseph's family: Bryan (dad), Jen (mom), and maybe even Thomas (age 4) and little Bryan (age 2 1/2) are "plunging" on Feb 8 to raise money for Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine.
Our family was lucky enough to learn about Camp Sunshine in 2010. We attended our first bereavement session that Fall, which was 18 months after our first son, Joseph, died from brain cancer at age 2 1/2 in 2009. SInce then, we have attended annual bereavement sessions at Camp where we have met an amazing community of bereaved families who, like us, are forced to live every day of their lives without their child. We are so grateful for all of the gifts Camp has offered us including an environment where people who ask us, "How many children do you have?" not only expect us to include Joseph in that tally but also don't recoil at the mention of his name or his death. Camp has offered us safety, growth, love, support and a Grief "road map" that we couldn't have found anywhere else. We are honored to ask those who care about us and who care about helping other families like ours to put their support behind this amazing, life-changing, remarkable place.
Camp Sunshine was started 30 years ago by the visionary, Anna Gould, who wanted to create a place where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families could go to have fun and temporarily escape the burdens of living with a serious illness. Eventually, Camp Sunshine also added a bereavement component to their programs to accommodate the families in their community whose children had died. Today, Camp Sunshine runs camps through most of the year for ill children and their families but twice annually it runs five-day bereavement camps for families who have lost their children to a life-threatening illness. All of the programs that Camp Sunshine offers are free of charge to those who attend so as not to add to the financial strain that too often comes with treating an ill family member. Camp Sunshine is a non-profit organization that operates on donations alone.