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Camp Quality Brings Children with Cancer Together to Have Fun

Taylor C, age 14, has come to Camp Quality every year since she was diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago.
For children with cancer, the ability to go fishing, horseback riding, or even go to school dances can be a rare opportunity.

They're doing all of those and more at a summer camp this week in Stewartsville.

Taylor C. was diagnosed with lymphoma five years ago, when she was only nine.

"I woke up and I had a lump right here at my neck.  I asked my mom if it was normal (I had been feeling it for a while) and then she felt it and she said 'That's not normal,'" Taylor says as she tells her story.

At the time, she spent a month in the hospital, eventually going through chemotherapy.

Now, her cancer is in remission and she only sees the doctor once a year.

Taylor has come to Camp Quality, in Stewartsville, just like she's done since her diagnosis.

"There are dances here every night and talent shows.  I like to dance and sing," Taylor said.

Camp Quality brings children with cancer together for a whole week.

And they get to do all the typical summer camp activities: fishing, archery, horseback riding, arts and crafts.

Every camper has a companion that makes sure they stay safe and have fun.

Taylor's companion is Heidi Beatty, who's volunteered at Camp Quality for ten years.

"I feel like I have something to give.  No matter what camp brings at me, I feel like I have more to give.  And these kids have more to give too.  When we both give, I don't know.  It's magical," Beatty said.

And Taylor says she looks forward to camp every year, because it gives her a chance to be with kids who understand what she's gone through in her fight with cancer.

"I don't have to worry about it.  I can just relax.  When I did have cancer, I would look at other people who didn't and I would think that they see me differently.  I didn't want that.  Here, they don't see you differently," she said.

Camp Quality is now in its 26th year here in northwest Missouri.
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