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Camp for kids with cancer in danger of closing

Created: 05/22/2014 11:09 AM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Camp Enchantment is a Manzano Mountains getaway where New Mexico children battling cancer have been able to escape every summer since 1986. But this summer could be its last.

The American Cancer Society used to fund the camp but is now using that funding to focus more on cancer research.

"This is absolutely the first year that we have not known where our money is coming from," said Yolanda Vinajeras, psychosocial director for Camp Enchantment.

The camp has enough money for this summer, but they are uncertain about fall and next summer's camp.

The children and teens who attended Camp Enchantment know just how important the program is for their recovery.

"That was the first time I could hear the word 'cancer' in public and not cringe," said Meghan Maes, a liver cancer survivor who went to Camp Enchantment as a child.

Meghan was 8 years old and remembers her first day at camp like it was yesterday.

"I was just like, I don't tell people about my cancer," she said. "I was like, I don't tell people because I'm embarrassed, like I don't want them to know."

But Meghan wasn't alone.

"You feel so much better. You're like, look, I'm not alone here. I'm not the only girl with a scar or the only kid with cancer," she said.

People can donate to the Camp Enchantment Fund online at www.unmfund.org/fund/camp-enchantment.


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