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HEALTHWATCH: Camp Bluebird opens in local area

Updated: Thursday, October 31 2013, 08:53 AM CDT
Camp Bluebird opens with hugs and smiles.  It's designed for adults dealing with cancer, regardless of where they are getting treatment.
The goal is to bring people together who can share their experiences.

Joy Roche is a Camp Bluebird Camper Liason.  She is also a cancer survivor.  "My husband would say, 'Honey are you ok?' and I'd say 'I'm fine' when you really want to say 'This is horrible and it stinks!' and out here you can say that because everybody understands.  That's the way they feel."

Pat Brown, Camp Bluebird Committee Member says, "You can talk to your friends and your neighbors and your family, but if they haven't had the C word apply to them they really don't know what that gut reaction is and how it feels."

But it isn't all tears.  Josie Wiggins is attending her 18th Camp Bluebird.  She says while at camp, "We can joke about it and laugh.  Our families don't think it's funny.  And we don't think it's funny, we just take joy in life.  We take joy in being on the right side of the grass every morning." 

Josie had her first cancer diagnosis in 1990...  Then another in 2004.  It hasn't slowed her down at all.

"It's like going to camp when you're a little kid.  And we can be naughty," she says. "You know, a little bit. We take one day at a time.  Tomorrow doesn't count.  It's not here yet."

Brown enjoys her role at the camp.  "It is the most rewarding thing that I do.  Seeing people coming here and they're not feeling well, and then leaving here with smiles on their faces.  Coming here with wigs on and going out without them."

Camp Director Tim Gilbert believes, "it changes lives, it really does."HEALTHWATCH: Camp Bluebird opens in local area


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