Local summer camp supports young cancer survivors

The children who attend “Camp Casco” in Becket are all childhood cancer survivors.

These children, age seven through sixteen, are concluding their week-long stay at Camp Casco in the Berkshires.

29-year-old Erin Stern founded the camp four years ago for a specific purpose, “Even after you’ve had your experience with childhood cancer, these kids are looking for other kids who understand.”

16-year-old kidney cancer survivor Abieo Nina from eastern Massachusetts has devoted his camp time to help re-assure the other campers, most of whom have battled Leukemia.

“It really touches my heart to see that a camp like this, it can all help us,” said Nina.

The work of Camp Casco attracted the attention of the Springfield non-profit “Survivor Journey’s.” The organization sent two local children to the camp, and on Thursday distributed duffle bags to each of these young cancer survivors.

“Having cancer when you’re a child, it takes away part of your childhood. There are so many things you can’t do that you’re absent from,” said Dr. Jay Burton, Founder of “Survivor Journey’s.”

The therapeutic work at Camp Casco has inspired Dr. Burton. He hopes to pursue similar programs helping young cancer patients at Baystate Children’s Hospital.

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