This morning, I invite you to grab a cup of coffee, a wad of Kleenex and get cozy. Here comes your weekly Wednesday dose of inspiration. My husband and I have volunteered at this AMAZING camp for the past two summers called Starlite Shores. It is an INCREDIBLE way to volunteer and serve families who have a child facing childhood cancer. The camp is 100% free to retreat families. It is a haven for families to find rest, renewal and to be restored as they go back into the world after a week of being loved on by a volunteer family. It is an absolute privilege to serve these families and an honor to be able to hear their stories.
Starlite Shores is this amazing place where you walk-in one day, meet volunteers that you don't know and the next day, you're in community. The following day retreat families show up and it's a full out party! The community that is built in a week is something that can't be manufactured or purchased. It's simply amazing. You have to experience it for yourself to believe it. You will be forever changed. These families are forever part of your family.
Amazing things happen at Starlite Shores. Things that I can't even put into words. This is the part where you grab those TISSUES!!! So, I think the best thing for you to do is watch this amazing video about two young ladies; Emma and Annika. This video shows what happens when two completely different families lives intersect one another and are EMBRACED through a journey of cancer. Grab your tissues and expect to be changed after watching this video.
The Kala Project did a phenomenal job of telling this beautiful and amazing story of when serving turns into something completely. Remember when I said Starlite Shores builds a community within a week? Emma and Annika's story is definition of community that Starlite Shores builds for a lifetime.
A week of rest at camp is nothing compared to the suffering siblings, parents and the child facing cancer deal with on a daily basis. The pokes, chemo, radiation, spinal taps, surgeries, fevers, mouth sores, ER trips, hair loss, missing school, friends, loss of previous relationships and many other challenges are so hard to comprehend if you never walked in their shoes. I know I personally cannot fathom this journey. Not only do they endure all of those challenges, but the monthly clinic visits, inpatient visits and ER trips are enough to make parents, siblings and relatives feel like the hospital is their second home. They spend a great amount of time at the hospital.
However, I can vouch that Helen Devos Children's Hospital is awesome! They have a fantastic team of doctors, nurses, social workers and a child life team that knows what they are doing. What hospital has (people) super hero's dressed in full out costumes scale from the top of the hospital all the way to the bottom? Amazing! The month of September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month, but let's be honest, it's not a month for these families, it's years!
If you would like to get involved in Starlite Shores Family Camp, please click the link or if you would like to donate to this amazing organization, directions are also on the website! Thank you for allowing me to share about this awesome organization and about the story of Emma and Annika!
Q: Do you know what GOLD stands for?