By Abby Austin, Volunteer, Scholarship Recipient —
Hi, there! My name is Abby Austin, and I am a cancer survivor.
I would like to share a little bit about myself and how Camp Rainbow Gold has played a part in my experience with cancer. At only five years old, I was diagnosed with leukemia. Although my treatment only lasted a few short years, it seemed to last an eternity and I clearly remember wondering if it would ever end. As others can surely relate, I very much felt robbed of a normal childhood.
The Freedom to be a Kid
The sole purpose of Camp Rainbow Gold is to provide cancer kids with many of the exciting opportunities they might otherwise miss out on. For example, summer camp—no child should be excluded from creating fond memories at summer camp!
Every year, kids are encouraged to participate in outdoor activities, meaningful workshops, and forge lasting bonds with others who share similar life experiences. Campers are so focused on the excitement of camp and being in the mountains; they forget about their physical burdens and enjoy the freedom of being a normal, happy kid!
A Chance to Give Back
Last year, I volunteered as a junior volunteer at Sibling Camp, and I had the best time ever. The week was filled with activities such as carnival games, dances, bike rides, and, for those in my age group, an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ tea party hosted by the Botanical Gardens in Ketchum, ID. It was absolutely magical!
My personal highlight of the week, however, came with the thrilling excitement of helping one camper learn to ride a bicycle for the very first time. I may never know for sure who was more excited that day, her or the volunteers watching!
A Scholarship Opportunity
Another component of Camp Rainbow Gold is their college scholarship program. I am currently a sophomore this year at Lewis-Clark State College, and I am studying for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I chose nursing because I am very grateful for the advancements that have been made within our medical field, and I wish to give back to the community who helped me when I was a child sick with cancer.
As a second-year recipient of the Camp Rainbow Gold Scholarship, I can tell you firsthand what a valuable resource it has been. Costly textbooks and a host of additional fees make the nursing program notoriously expensive, far more expensive than the cost of an average college degree. As such, the Camp Rainbow Gold Scholarship has been immensely helpful in funding my academic endeavor. If you are like me and have a desire to further your education by means of a college degree, I hope you’ll consider applying for the scholarship; as it is available to any child who has been faced with cancer, as well as their siblings.
I encourage you to reach out and let Camp Rainbow Gold be a part of your walk with cancer. Perhaps, like me, you need some help funding your college education. Or maybe you could benefit from some life building skills to strengthen you as a cancer warrior. In any case, just remember, Camp Rainbow Gold can be a valuable resource for success!