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Zak and Ilan hit Miami!

Zak Kanter

Dear friends,

As many of you know, for the past six years I have had the privilege of being a part of the Camp Simcha family. I have seen first-hand how the 20+ services offered by Camp Simcha transform the lives of hundreds of sick children and their families every day of the year. From providing therapies to vital medical equipment, psychological support and family retreats, Camp Simcha does all in its power to help put back together the lives of families shattered by cancer and life-threatening illness. Nowhere is the power of ‘simcha’ stronger than at Camp Simcha USA. Each year, Camp Simcha flies a number of sick children from the UK to New York to spend the summer at the happiest place on earth! Camp gives kids who have spent months or even years in hospital wards the chance to have a real childhood; a summer free from doctors’ appointments, transfusions and chemotherapy.

Since summer 2013, I have been a counsellor bringing many kids to Camp Simcha. One of these kids is Ilan. Ilan, 13, is an incredible young boy who has been battling a rare brain tumour since 2016. When I took Ilan to Disneyworld last December, he was extremely pale, weak and emaciated – he was unable to lift himself or walk, he could hardly speak and needed to be fed through a gastric tube. Through tremendous dedication, hard work and faith, Ilan began to get stronger. This past summer at Camp Simcha, Ilan had the time of his life – the power of camp gave him the strength to surpass many medical milestones and give him the psychological power to continue fighting. To see Ilan in action at Camp Simcha watch the video below! Today, Ilan’s road to recovery continues and he is working hard with his therapists to walk again.

On 28th January 2018, I will be surprising Ilan in Miami and fulfilling his dream by running whilst pushing him in the Marathon in celebration of all that he has achieved. Towards the end of the marathon, he will get out of the stroller and walk by himself across the finish line – further than he has walked in a year and a half since his diagnosis – whilst we all laugh and dance (and probably cry!) around him! Training for a marathon is one thing; training for a marathon by pushing a stroller full of bricks is another. In honour of Ilan, I am trying to raise £10,000. The money raised will go directly to Camp Simcha UK to enable us to take more children this year to camp in the US. This magical place transforms the lives of hundreds of sick kids each and every summer with a fully equipped medical centre, world class facilities and totally accessible activities for all types of disabilities - you have to see it to believe it. Camp gives kids the confidence and strength to look beyond their sickness and find love and joy in their lives once more. Please join me in contributing whatever you can, to make more dreams come true for all the children in our Camp Simcha family.

With much love and thanks always,




raised of $14,000 goal


1. Anonymous
2. Anonymous
3. Anonymous
4. Team Lifeline Credits
5. Elizabeth Mandelbaum
We are sooooooo proud of you and can’t wait to cheer you on!! With all our love, Sarah & Elizabeth M.
6. Rebecca Alenick
Good luck Zak! Crush it! Your favorite shiksa, Ral
16 donors