Leave cancer in the dark

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It’s difficult to comprehend the emotional effects on a child whose parent or other family member is diagnosed with cancer. Luckily, Camp Kesem BYU understands.

The kids of Camp Kesem show their appreciation for community donations
The kids of Camp Kesem show their appreciation for community donations. Courtesy Camp Kesem

Camp Kesem BYU is run by students and funded entirely by community donations. The nonprofit program focuses on helping the children and families of cancer patients.

This Saturday at 8 p.m., Camp Kesem will hold its annual “Light Up the Night, Leave Cancer in the Dark” 5k run/walk at the Shops in the Riverwoods, featuring live music, a classic car show and a family-fun environment. The proceeds from the event will go toward sponsoring kids who want to attend the program’s upcoming one-week summer camp.

Camp Kesem provides a support system for kids and teens going through similar situations to come together to befriend and encourage one another. This is an opportunity for them to put a positive twist on the negative effects cancer has on their families.

Brian Brown, a BYU student and counselor at Camp Kesem said, “The camp is a relief for them; losing a parent is difficult, but (the camp) helps them to realize that life goes on. It’s an amazing experience we wish everyone could be a part of.”

Brown said the camp isn’t a counseling session; it’s a time where kids can get away and be kids again. It is a place where they can choose to talk about their trials and feel constant support and love.

People can register for the 5k run/walk either online or at the event to help Camp Kesem reach its goal of 200 participants. This will help pay for over 70 kids from Utah, Idaho, Colorado and Wyoming, ages 6–16, to attend the summer camp. For more information on the race, visit www.campkesem.org/byu or visit its Facebook page.

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