Nonprofit mounts virtual summer camp for youth with cancer, their siblings

Summer camp for kids with cancer, and siblings
Posted at 5:39 AM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 07:19:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sophia Feyerabend, now 11 years old, has been on a demanding health journey.

"When I was seven, I was diagnosed with AML in January," Sophie said, relating her diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. "I was in the hospital for six months."

Her sister, Maya said she was scared.

"I never met anyone with cancer before, so I didn’t know what was going to happen or what was going on," she said.

Delilah was four when her sister Sophia was diagnosed.

"It was actually quite scary because it was all happening so fast," Delilah said.

Then, a breakthrough for the family.

"I had a bone marrow transplant in May and Delilah was a perfect match to be my donor, and we found out on my birthday so that was pretty exciting, too," Sophia said.

"I was really happy helping out with my sister, making her feel better," Delilah said.

Sophia has now been in remission for three years.

She and her sisters are safely at home during the pandemic but have stayed busy attending Camp Hope and Camp Sibsational, summer camps for youth with cancer - and their siblings - put on by KyMel, a local nonprofit.

"Especially in these times, just providing those connecting opportunities for our campers and their families," said KyMel board treasurer Dan Kopshinsky.

"We just want to be there to support them. We love to support the whole family, campers and kids, we want to love on them and show them we care, and we’re here," Camp Hope's activities director Amanda Bretches added.

Caring for kids like Sophia, and their siblings, like Maya and Delilah.

"I’m feeling great and I’m glad we were able to do camp this year," Sophia said. "I was looking forward to it every day."

KyMel is also putting together a virtual fundraiser on Sept. 12 following the success of its camps. Camp for a Cause information can be found on their website.