Holiday Party For Child Cancer Survivors

By John W. Davis

December 2, 2010 Updated Dec 2, 2010 at 11:43 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Dozens of young cancer survivors gathered for a special holiday party in Fort Wayne Thursday night.

The children are members of Camp Watch Wanna Do.

The campers usually get together during the summmer but childhood cancer and brain tumor survivors told Indiana's NewsCenter any time they get together it means the world to them.

They shared that it is a comforting feeling to be around other young people with similar past health challenges.

"I just kinda felt alone," said 18-year-old Leo Resident Raymond Gage.

He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma about two years ago.

He spent six months on chemo drugs and is back to good health.

"I went to this camp and I figured out that there is so many other people that had cancer... whether they had it in the past or they had it when I had it. They're a great set of people," said Gage.

The holiday party was held at the Lutheran Health Sports Center at Canlan Ice Rink.

It was sponsored by the Active 20/30 club of Fort Wayne.

Normally the kids spend time boating, hiking and doing other summer camp activities at their week long getaway at Camp Watcha Wanna Do.

At the holiday party, some of the youngest children and their families decorated cookies.

Others received gifts from Santa, tried out ice skating, and played on an 60 yard long moon bounce.

"It's the thing I look forward to every year cause you see the same people and you know them and you end up getting life long friends from there," said 17-year-old Fort Wayne Resident Kelsey Hosier.

Kelsey was diagnosed with leukemia when she was five.

She been healthy for years now, but has still attended Camp Watcha Wanna Do for the past 12 years.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Raymond Gage has only attended Camp Watch Wanna Do for two years.

He is too old to be a camper now, but said he will be a camp counselor at Camp Watcha Wanna Do next summer.

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