We are coming off of a fantastic weekend! Delaney had the opportunity to go to The Round Up River Ranch Camp for a weekend and even got to bring her family. It is a Paul Newman Camp that combined with funding by the John Wayne Cancer Foundation offers a completely free family weekend for kids with cancer. Technically it only lasted a little over 40 hours, but it was packed with fun activities and laughter.
We got our cabin assignment upon arrival on Friday, and then went to dinner and a campfire for some songs, skits, and some smores. Afterwards, we went back to our cabin but instead of going to bed, the kids hung out with some very cool counselors and played games, told jokes, and were challenged with brain teasers. While they were having their fun, the adults got to have time to meet each other and enjoy some fellowship while playing some decades trivia. We finished up the fun and then hit the hay because we knew Saturday was going to be a full day.
Having some fun with one of the cool volunteers, Kevin.
We started our day off by instilling some fear and trembling into the fishies of the camp’s stocked lake. The fish were right to be scared, just not of us. We got some food in us and then decided to hit the climbing wall and zip lining. I had been zip lining before and was trying to play it cool. Even having done it before, the familiar butterflies in the stomache returned before stepping off a perfectly good platform that was probably 40 feet up. If I was nervous, Delaney was terrified… but she did it! She also got to ride a horse, do some painting, boating (including getting a very big laugh as her dad managed to flip the canoe when he got on it), and even won a buck off dad when her arrow was closest to the target in archery (nothing like the teaching the kids gambling at a young age… don’t judge me).
As fun as all the activities were, the real joy came from the people. We met so many nice people. From the volunteers that donated their time to serve the campers, to the other families that got to cut loose and not only enjoy their time with their family but also got to bond with other families facing similar struggles, but the kids themselves were what made it so great.
Sure there were bald kids, kids on crutches and in wheelchairs, and a whole lot of medications, but this weekend they weren’t a bunch of kids with cancer, they just got to be kids. They played kickball, soccer, hula hoops, dodge ball, building blocks, croquet, got to go to the carnival that the staff and volunteers put on, danced after every meal, and just laughed and laughed through it all as they created memories that will last a lifetime.
After her fun weekend, Delaney got right back in the swing of things. She got more chemo today and goes back Wednesday for the doctor to check out how her fractured ankle is doing. Because I’ve been doing such a poor job of updating lately, I don’t know that I mentioned that she currently has her 2nd ankle fracture this year. Unfortunately, this is just part of the fun that comes with steroids. The doctors were worried about necrosis of her bones caused by the steroids, but they think she’ll be fine. Hopefully she gets some good news on Wednesday, because soccer season has officially begun!