Every day I count my blessings that I have two healthy little children. When I was pregnant with my son, I joined a message board for moms who were due with their babies at the same time. I made a small little group of friends and over the years we moved our friendship off of the message board and on to Facebook and the like. One of the members of our group has a son. Jacob, who was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. Unfortunately, he did not make it. It was surreal; we all discussed our hopes and dreams for our little ones. Then, to have one of the babies in our group just gone from such a horrible disease, and all of those hopes and dreams that she had for little Jacob crushed, was so awful.
I see stories of young children every day who are suffering from life-altering illnesses like childhood cancer. It scares me. I read their updates on their child’s cancer diagnosis mixed in with trying to remain some normalcy of life like going to school, trick or treating, enjoying a family vacation or camping.
Help Northwestern Mutual Create Lasting Memories for Childhood Cancer Patients
*This is a paid partnership with Northwestern Mutual. All opinions are my own.
A child who suffers from cancer loses out on so much, sometimes their entire childhood. One of my kids’ favorite things to do is be outside, get dirty and play! Unfortunately, as these children undergo treatment, their parents and siblings miss out too. It saddens me to think about all of the memories that they miss out on. Through its Childhood Cancer Program, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is working through research and family support to lessen the load of a cancer diagnosis so these families can create happy memories, and these kids can actually be kids.
On Friday, July 6, the national historic landmark that is the Rose Bowl Stadium was transformed into an inaugural one-of-its-kind event – the Rose Buds Campout on the Field Presented by Northwestern Mutual. The Rose Bowl Stadium, Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, and Northwestern Mutual Foundation partnered together to provide 200 kids and their parents (total) a camping experience on the Rose Bowl Stadium Field, creating lasting memories. Activities included arts and crafts, games, entertainment, movies, s’mores and more!
“When you get cancer, you kind of have to grow up fast. You can’t really be a kid when you’re that grown up. Camp gave me this new normal where I knew I was okay and had others like me, so that gave me some reassurance and the confidence to travel through the rest of my journey.” – Bennett Unger, 14, of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Research shows camps for kids with cancer and other chronic illnesses provide community, camaraderie and hope to those who need it most. “Many of these kids never had an opportunity to be just that – kids. Bringing them together at a camp like this lets them forget all that.” – -Eric Christophersen, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation.
Unfortunately, not all of the children Northwestern Mutual wanted to reach could travel to the Rose Bowl Stadium due to their health and treatment status. To bring the experience of camp to children who are unable to travel, the make sure they aren’t left out, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is creating indoor camp experiences nationwide in select hospitals.
Northwestern Mutual wants to bring camp joy to more kids, and they want to know which venue YOU would want to campout at. Visit Northwestern Mutual’s webpage to vote for the iconic venue where you’d most want to camp out. For every 25,000 votes cast July 6-23, Northwestern Mutual will grant an indoor camp experience to a pediatric cancer unit to help them bring camp-like activities to their patients. You can vote once a day!
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) and its subsidiaries. Learn more at northwesternmutual.com.