Children battling cancer spend week at summer camp in Chicago

More than 30 Chicago-area children battling cancer are spending a week at camp, taking part in activities that range from a pool party, to a White Sox game and even a trip to the Adler Planetarium.

On Sunday, Camp Kids are Kids Chicago and The Palmer House Hilton rolled out the gold carpet for 32 children, all of them living with cancer.

"I never look at our campers as being sick. I just look at our campers as being touched by cancer and they're still people that need camp," said Rich Brundige, of Camp Kids are Kids Chicago.

Consider it camp in an urban setting. The hotel hallways are decorated, and the suites are transformed into dormitories for the week.

Within minutes of arrival, each child's bunk bed had already been turned into a little piece of home.

The kids, ages 7 to 17, are from all over the Chicago area. Many of them have met before, and the summer camp experience is something they look forward to year upon year.

"Once you do your first year, you have to come back again. It's a great experience," said Matthew Pattison, a camper.

Camper Jalene Woolford said she loves the experience because other than "morning med time," she's "treated like a normal kid."

The "morning med time" is taken care of by several oncology nurses and a doctor who are on call 24/7 to deal with any health issues.

Because a cancer diagnosis affects the entire family, the organizers are throwing a simultaneous camp this year for siblings at a separate hotel.

Both camps run until next Saturday.
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