Last week, one of my special patients came in for a routine post-chemo check-up. His hair had grown back. His cheeks had filled out. He had returned to school....yet all he could talk about was how much he was looking forward to coming back to Camp Simcha next summer with the biggest super-soaker he could find so he could "get me" in the annual "Kill Dr. Lenny Water Fight."
Last month, one of my special patients died. Because he had become quite ill over the summer, and a return trip to Camp Simcha next summer was clearly not in his future, he had attended Camp on a day-to-day basis. However inadequate, it was of great comfort to his parents when I visited them during their shiva that he had gotten to experience the magic of Camp (and particularly that he had also been able to "get me" during the annual "Kill Dr. Lenny Water Fight").
This is the reality of life for the more than 400 children with cancer and other serious illnesses who attend Camp Simcha each summer. Many, thankfully, will get to return to Camp feeling better, feeling stronger, feeling invigorated, inspiring others that they, too, will be better one day. Others, tragically, will have just the one opportunity. In either situation, there is nothing that gives me greater pleasure than the looks on the faces of these kids when they get to dump a bucket of water on my head or squirt me square in the eyes during the "Kill Dr. Lenny Water Fight". It is the least I can give back to them for what I have to do to them to try to get them better.
This year, I will again be running with Team Lifeline in the Miami Half-Marathon to help raise funds to allow every child with the need to attend this amazing, free, 2-week sleep-away Camp where their illness recedes into the background and they get to just be kids. As I have now crossed the threshold into the downside of my 50s, every day of running is associated with a longer period of pre-run stretching and post-run icing than the actual run itself, but it is more than worth it. Please consider sponsoring me to continue to make it possible for every one of these brave and special kids to come to Camp with the biggest super-soaker they can find to "Kill Dr. Lenny!".
Thank you for your generous support.