This is a sponsored blog post; while the views expressed here are genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by Angel On My Shoulder.
Today’s post speaks to me in a way that most aren’t fortunate enough to experience. I know very few people that have experienced cancer. And those that I do know, have (at least so far) won their battle. They’ve made bold choices that I can’t even imagine having to experience. Their battles have been short-lived so far and for that, I am incredibly grateful.
For others, they aren’t that lucky. And getting a break from the heart-wrenching challenges they face every day as a result of a family member who is battling, or who may have lost the battle, with cancer is one of the few things they can look forward to.
Angel On My Shoulder is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that has established a number of cost-free camps, both summer and year-round, that were designed to address the needs of young people whose lives have been affected by cancer through the illness or passing of a close family member (parent, sibling, or grandparent.) It was founded in 1995 by Lolly Rose in memory of her late husband Dick, who fought a courageous battle with cancer. Her hope was that it would become an emotional backbone for the cancer-affected community. She began her quest by meeting with various individuals in health organizations to explore the possibilities for offering comfort and support. From those meetings came the idea to create cancer support camps for kids affected by a close family member with cancer, and adult retreats for cancer caregivers and cancer survivors.
Angel On My Shoulder weekend camps are funded through donations so that everyone who wants to attend may do so. Money is raised throughout the year through special events and donations as they aim to provide as many kids as possible with the opportunity to experience a weekend away from the stresses of cancer. In the same manner, Angel On My Shoulder supports adult caregivers and cancer survivors through cost-free programs.
“When a family is affected by cancer, the focus has to be on the patient. Too often though there are children who are also experiencing loss or confusion,” said Lolly Rose, founder of Angel On My Shoulder. “That’s where Angel On My Shoulder comes in. We’re helping these kids feel good and have fun with others they can relate to; to see their faces light up again is an amazing feeling.”
Angel On My Shoulder offers five different weekend camps for kids who have a close family member who is battling cancer:
Camp Angel is for kids ages 7-12
Camp Teen Angel is for teens ages 13-15
Camp Angel Adventures is for older teens ages 16-18
Camp Angel Adventures Extreme is for 16-18 year olds who want to experience more extreme activities
Camp Hozhoni, is a family camp for families with a child 18 or younger who has cancer
The purpose of the camps is to give kids the chance to meet other kids who are in the same situation. These camps also give them the opportunity to participate in activities tailored to their age group that will provide many happy memories for years to come.
“Meeting new people at camp is so wonderful because you don’t just get to spend the weekend with such cool people, but you also get these new friends to help you through anything. I’m honored to support my friends through any hard times, and it’s even better when you get to visit each other outside of camp because you have such a great connection through camp!” – Alyssa Sullivan (A camper who has attended Camp Angel, Camp Teen Angel, Angel Adventures and will attend Angel Adventures Extreme this summer)
Summer camps include swimming, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Winter camps feature snowshoeing, ice fishing, dog-sledding and sleigh rides.
Angel Care is for Cancer Caregivers, and was created with the express purpose of giving cancer caregivers a respite from the often times grueling work of caring for a loved one with cancer. The retreats are held several times a year and provide activities such as yoga and discussion sessions to help these selfless individuals give back to themselves.
Healing Angels is for cancer survivors who are in remission. The intent is to provide them with a weekend of mental, physical and spiritual healing that will contribute to their growing sense of well-being.
“I am constantly inspired by the people I meet through Angel On My Shoulder from donors and volunteers to those families whose lives we touch,” added Rose. “This community is quick to lend a hand and help one another and our organization is very thankful for that.”