Camp Quality providing fun for kids with cancer

Published 5:00am 16 December 2023

Camp Quality providing fun for kids with cancer
Words by Nadia Chapman

Australian children’s cancer charity, Camp Quality is giving one North Lakes child and his family the holiday of their dreams.

When six-month-old Leo was diagnosed with stage four hepatoblastoma, his life was significantly impacted.

For more than two years, Leo and his family; mum Jennifer and brother Kai, couldn’t spend a happy Christmas together due to him being in and out of hospital.

“This appeal gives us the feeling that the community cares,” Jennifer says.

“It makes us feel less alone. Since Leo's diagnosis two years ago, we have been extremely socially isolated. Leo and I were in hospital for the majority of the time for chemotherapy, tests, blood transfusions and multiple emergencies in between.”

Camp Quality’s programs including Family Camps and Family Fun Days give children and their families the opportunity to create happy memories away from the hospital.

This year, Camp Quality gifted Leo and his family with a three-day stay at Treasure Island and tickets to Sea Life in the Sunshine Coast.

“(Treasure Island) was the first holiday Leo had ever been on, and our first one as a family with Leo,” Jennifer says.

“It gave him the chance to experience a water slide, play with other children and his big brother at a water park and to just be a kid exploring a new environment, without cancer and illness surrounding him. This stimulation and experience help with his development into a healthy young boy.

“Camp Quality has also gifted us some Sea Life family tickets so we can explore the marine world on the Sunshine Coast over the coming weeks.

“He has only read about these creatures and seen them on TV, so to see them in real life will almost certainly lead to him shouting out as he does 'Oh WOW!'”

Since being diagnosed, Leo has never been home for Christmas, but that all changes this year.

“He will experience Santa's gifts under the tree on Christmas Day, he will see Christmas lights and attend Christmas Carols,” Jennifer says.

“Now that Leo's immune system is stronger, we have been given the ok to go swimming, and mingle with small groups of people.

“We're having a Christmas lunch with some friends that we haven't seen for six years, and will definitely go to the beach, local parks and check out some community events like library story times. We are just happy to be together, doing things as a family.”

There are many ways you can support children with cancer this Christmas, and Camp Quality has offered this support to thousands of families each year, including to Leo and his family.

Leo with his big brother Kai


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