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Camp Breakaway is game changer for children battling disease

GRANTSBURG, Wis. –– For most kids, summer camp is fun, but for some at Camp Breakaway, it’s an absolute game changer. 

Because of certain health conditions, COVID basically kept these kids captive at home. Three years later, they are finally roaming free.

These kids are sharing more than a good time – they share the burden of bad health too. The campers or their siblings have life-threatening blood disorders.

Narriah Copeland of Columbia Heights has sickle cell disease. “It’s a lot of body pain. It’s just like your body hurts every day, and it’s really bad.”

Seven-year-old Addison Dao has leukemia and is fighting hard, but this week she’s playing hard too.

“We were really hoping this week of camp provides the siblings the patients, a week to break away from their medical life with their medical issues and just break away and be a kid again,” said Trinayani Christiansen.

Christiansen helped found this first-year camp. She knows what that feels like — she has a severe blood disorder, too — and used to go to a similar camp.

“When I went to camp, it was so great because I was not the only one, and I met a lot of lifelong friends there,” said Christiansen. “What makes it special is that there is different people who had cancer or does still have it like me and it’s just an opportunity to have fun with other kids that understand.”

They are in good company with peers and professionals. Christiansen is one of a staff of oncology nurses who are in Grantsburg, Wis. for the week too, making it possible for kids with fragile needs to play hard.

There’s just something beautiful about those who understand each other’s pain.

“I hope they walk away with lifelong friendships and confidence that they can go on and do great things in life despite their medical worries,” said Christiansen.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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