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Blog2018-03-27T11:17:11+00:00

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What I Can Do

Kristen Kellar-Graney, M.S., Tumor Biologist and Clinical Researcher – and Special Love Pop-Up Camp Guru! A borrowed quote: Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. As a tumor biologist, I cannot take away the fear a parent has learning that their child has cancer. But as a Special Love volunteer, I can lend an ear, a shoulder, or a hand when they need it. And I can bring snacks; I always have snacks. As a tumor biologist, I cannot guarantee that chemotherapy is going to work, or not have side-effects, or make their child terribly [...]

By |June 22nd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

The “Amazingness” of Camp: An Open Letter from Abby’s Parents

  This July, we received the terrible news that no parent should ever hear: Our nine-year-old daughter Abby had just days to live. Almost two years ago, Abby’s treatment for her type of leukemia included a lifesaving bone marrow transplant. She’s been battling side effects ever since. But recently the complications became so severe that her doctors braced us for the worst. We were devastated. But in the middle of the turmoil, all Abby could think of was Special Love’s Camp Fantastic: It was just four weeks away, she said, and she wanted to go. To Abby, summer means camp. [...]

By |December 20th, 2016|Categories: Camp Fantastic|0 Comments

Life After Cancer

Chris Thomas, Camp Fantastic alum and Special Love volunteer... Earlier this month Special Love held its Reunion Weekend which has always been one of my favorite events. I’ve been part of the Special Love family for something like 27 years now and in that time I’ve seen a lot of folks pass through our organization. It’s good to see old friends, tell old stories, and re-live some of those sun-soaked summers from so long ago. As much as I love Reunion Weekend for my own selfish reasons, my favorite part of it is the flood of survivors who trickle into camp [...]

By |July 26th, 2016|Categories: Counselor, Reunion Weekend, Volunteer|0 Comments

Listen to the Music in My Heart

Julia Jones, Special Love counselor and former camper (Wilm’s tumor) ... For one week every summer, I get to go to camp. Camp is my happy place. This camp is called Camp Fantastic…. In 1998, I was a camper at Camp Fantastic, and Special Love has been a part of my life ever since. For the past six years, I’ve been a counselor at camp. I wish I could tell you the story of every child I met at camp. I wish I could share all of the ways they impacted me and touched my heart. Every year when I [...]

By |January 28th, 2016|Categories: Camp Fantastic, Counselor|0 Comments

In Joyful Defiance of Their Cancer

Christopher Barnett, MD, Special Love volunteer ...  Last night was the Camp Fantastic talent show. About halfway through, a camper came onto stage to perform “holding breath.” He took a big breath in and held it while we all counted to 30, and the audience went crazy with roaring applause. A few hurried bows and he ran off the stage so the next campers could sing, dance, beat drums, fold origami, or act in a skit. Some acts were simple and some complex, but the audience response was always the same: whistles, hoots, and thunderous applause at the end. We [...]

By |January 28th, 2016|Categories: Camp Fantastic, Volunteer|0 Comments

Teens & Young Adults – Make Your Winter FANTASTIC!

Scenes from Fantastic Winter Weekend 2015   We're wrapping up our 33rd year of fun and friendship and now is the perfect time to reconnect with camp friends - and make new ones!  Our annual Fantastic Winter Weekend for 13-25 year-old cancer survivors (and current patients) is on Jan. 8-10 at the No. VA 4-H Center in Front Royal, VA and will feature a day-long trip to nearby Bryce Resort for skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and hanging out by the fireplace.  Plus our nights will be filled with games, music, and great conversation back at the 4-H Center.   Even [...]

By |December 15th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Featured|0 Comments
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