When I became the Family Relations Chair for the very first year of DanceBlue, I didn’t know quite what to expect. I also had no idea of the impact the children fighting cancer I would meet through DanceBlue would have, both personally and professionally. I was so inspired by the DanceBlue patients that I knew I had to continue to serve them after graduation. My experience with DanceBlue ultimately led me to my career as the Executive Director of Kids Cancer Alliance, where we serve many of the same patients and families as DanceBlue.

Kids Cancer Alliance’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for children with cancer and their families through our recreational and support programs. Beginning with our first Indian Summer Oncology Camp in 1981, thousands of brave and amazing kids have found a reprieve from fighting cancer and a powerful alliance of support. Over the years, Kids Cancer Alliance has expanded our services to provide sibling camps and family-centered programs as well as in-hospital and financial support to Kentucky families battling childhood cancers.

Kids Cancer Alliance commends the DanceBlue students for all of their efforts throughout the year in order to raise valuable funds and positively impact the lives of local children with cancer. In addition, we are incredibly grateful to DanceBlue students who go above and beyond to volunteer for Kids Cancer Alliance’s programs. All of our services are provided free of charge to children with cancer and their families and that wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of many DanceBlue students who volunteer their time and energy to make our Indian Summer Camps amazing for hundreds of special children each summer.

Kids Cancer Alliance has tons of fun planned for over 200 local children fighting cancer and their siblings who will be attending one of our four weeks of Indian Summer Camp this summer. Each camp session runs from Sunday-Saturday overnight and will be jammed packed with campfires, s’mores, swimming, field trips, dances and even a few “Hollywood Movie” themed surprises!

On the surface, Indian Summer Camp looks like many other summer camps. But if you look close, you will notice the unit-dosed pill boxes at each meal, the prosthetic limbs along the pool deck, and extra sunscreen and hats covering bald heads. And on even closer inspection, you will hear incredible stories about children battling for their lives, meaningful friendships being built from shared experiences, the rebuilding of confidence, and children learning that they are not alone in their fight. At Indian Summer Camp, we strive to give these children back their childhood that cancer tried to take away. You’ll hear it in their laughter, you’ll see it in their smiles, and you’ll feel it in their hugs. Indian Summer Camp is made of something special, of something magical. It’s made of that special something that comes from a group of dedicated people all working towards a common goal. It’s that same feeling I first experienced at DanceBlue in 2006 and continue to carry with me each day at Kids Cancer Alliance.

To learn more or to get involved visit www.kidscanceralliance.org.