Children who are diagnosed with cancer miss a normal childhood. Their illness, treatment, and complications can keep them from enjoying activities that often are taken for granted. And yet these children, like all children, need the opportunity to grow, experiment, and discover independence. Okizu began with the belief that a residential camp can be an ideal setting for children struggling with cancer to explore and enjoy a normal life experience, while interacting with others who truly understand their illness.
We quickly learned that all family members, including the ill child, parents, and siblings, are all impacted in unique and powerful ways by childhood cancer. The opportunity for interactions with genuine peers and the strong sense of community fostered by a residential camp environment provide valuable emotional and practical support for continuing the cancer journey, while also allowing everyone to take a break from their routine and have a great time.
Okizu is more than a summer camp. We work with all of our partners, from volunteers to national medical institutions, to reach and support those we serve, year-round, and whenever we are needed.