Being the kid with cancer can be tough.
That’s why counselors and staff at Camp Goodtimes, which is hosted by YMCA’s Camp Reed, are working to create a space where children living with cancer, survivors and their friends and family can come and be a kid for a week.
Camp Goodtimes has been free to children who attend because of financial support from the community. The Community Cancer Fund has raised funds to permanently endow the camp.
“It’s just a time to enjoy yourself, have fun, have a good time, and no one can judge you,” said 11-year-old high-risk leukemia survivor Samantha Brown.
She was among the kids at Camp Goodtimes treated with a visit from nine members of the Gonzaga men’s basketball team.
The players went out on boats on Fan Lake, adjacent to the camp, played basketball and did arts and crafts with campers. Then they headed into the lodge to eat lunch and have a dance party.
Both the kids and the players loved it, Gonzaga third-year forward Jeremy Jones said.
“It’s good to give back a little bit and spread love,” he said.
To the kids, having the Zags come in was the icing on the cake to their camp experience.
“They’re local heroes the kids watch on TV,” Community Cancer Fund Co-founder Ryan Gee said. “To see your hero up close in person is somewhat of a rarity and special for the kids.”
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