Cambridge encouraged to fundraise for Camp Quality

Reef Smith was bursting with excitement at the start of Camp Quality earlier this year, pictured with his companion ‘buddy’ for the week, Sarah.

Camp Quality is encouraging Cambridge residents, along with Kiwis across the country, to plan their own special fundraising event or activity to help the organisation support the nation’s youngest patients living with cancer.

The non-profit organisation provides camps and recreational programmes for children living with cancer. At a cost of $2,700 for each child, the organisation hopes to raise $100,000 this year to enable these children to experience fun, hope, and happiness.

And so throughout the month of May Camp Quality is encouraging Kiwis to camp out for the night, do a thrill-seeking activity, or simply organise a community event like a morning tea or bake stall – all in an effort to raise funds for the cause. More information can be found at www.camp4campquality.org.nz.

One Cambridge resident has already experienced the magic and wonder of Camp Quality.

“Reef was the youngest member on camp, but he absolutely loved it,” said Rosie Smith, mother of Reef Smith, 6, who was first diagnosed with Leukaemia at 20 months old in October 2014.

“I was worried he would really miss me as he is young and we have a close bond having spent so much time together in a hospital room over the years. But he didn’t miss me a bit! He was too busy having fun, which is amazing.”

The family was introduced to Camp Quality through Child Cancer Foundation, and last year Reef was old enough to attend a two-night winter camp, then a longer five-night summer camp earlier this year.

“Reef had an incredible companion called Bryce, he loved that. He also enjoyed all the freedom he experienced on camp. Normally he is told ’no’ a lot, because of all he’s been through and his compromised immune system. But on camp, they say yes to everything – it’s set up in such a way that he can have fun and take part in everything, it was such a joy to him and to us,” said Rosie.

Reef Smith pictured with his Child Cancer Foundation Beads of Courage, each bead representing a treatment.

Reef spent much of his early years in and out of hospital as his particular type of Leukaemia made him very susceptible to bugs, meaning there were regular infections and he was often there for weeks at a time.

For the past 12 months Reef has been much more settled, and last year he finished his chemotherapy treatment.

Rosie couldn’t speak highly enough of the Camp Quality experience.

“The kids are encouraged to be themselves and to feel as normal as possible, which is exactly what these kids need.”

As well as organising fundraisers for the cause, Camp Quality is also encouraging direct donations. To find out more visit www.camp4campquality.org.nz.

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