Being a cancer survivor, I have experienced what most adults do not experience until late in life. I grew up knowing cancer clinic appointments meant a day full of eight tube blood draws and three-hour MRI’s. I was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma and a Chiari malformation when I was only two years old.
My friends at camp were resilient, which was their greatest superpower. Growing up with other campers as some of my best friends taught me empathy and compassion. We shared the same experience, but all of our stories were different. Rarely did we ever have the same course of treatment or outcome. However, we were able to see each other as something other than our diagnosis, an experience that many of us never had with other children. At school kids would point, stare, and whisper, but at Camp Sunshine we were never the cancer kids, we were just kids. My time at Camp Sunshine sparked my passion for the medical field.
I want to become a primary care physician, such as a family medicine physician or pediatrician. I want to have the chance to immerse myself in my patients' lives and be there for all of their milestones or new chapters in life. I want to be able to form genuine relationships to be able to provide compassionate, well-informed care.
Camp Sunshine has played such an integral part in helping mold me not only into the person I am today, but also the physician I aspire to become. I have seen the Camp Sunshine magic from all points of view: the camper, the counselor, and the volunteer. As a camper I was inspired to pursue a career in medicine, but returning as a counselor and volunteer, fueled that spark into a passion. With the help of this scholarship opportunity, I know I could share pieces of this experience with patients of my own.
- Kylie Kersh, Camp Sunshine alumni and scholarship recipient.
The Sally J. Hale Scholarship Fund at Camp Sunshine supports former campers who have demonstrated a commitment to completing their education by attending a college or technical school. For more information on making a gift to support this special fund, contact Alicia Brady at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-325-7979.