Campers give adults, UofL football players lesson in courage - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Campers give adults, UofL football players lesson in courage

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For one week this summer, these children are not defined by the disease that attacked them. For one week this summer, these children are not defined by the disease that attacked them.
Caden Tarry Caden Tarry
Monday, strength became a theme as members of the University of Louisville Cards football team learned about courage off the field. Monday, strength became a theme as members of the University of Louisville Cards football team learned about courage off the field.
Jon Dubins Jon Dubins

BAGDAD, KY (WAVE) - Rainy weather couldn't keep the sunshine out of a special summer camp that's happening this week. Indian Summer Camp gives children with cancer a whole week out of the summer just to be a kid and bond with others who are fighting the same battle.

Think back to the excitement of summer camp. Now put yourself in a place most of us have never been, because each one of the Indian Summer campers - in some way - shares Caden Tarry's story.

"I had cancer when I was six months old," he said.    

They are all fighting or survivors of childhood cancer.

Caden said his mom discovered something was wrong when her infant had blood in his diaper.  "So then she took me to the hospital and I had Wilms tumor, which is kidney cancer," he said.  "Now I only have one kidney and it's on my right side."

For one week this summer, these children are not defined by the disease that attacked them.

"We get to do archery. We get to do fishing. We get to do basketball stuff, just a lot of fun things that you don't normally get to do at home," Caden said.

"Forget about all these - radiation - all these things terrible things that they're going through and just come out here and be kids and just do all the things that kids like to do," said Jon Dubins, who is both Indian Summer Camp board president and a counselor for the week.

"Some of these kids definitely take my breath away," Dubins said.

He's seen campers who were winning the fight against cancer relapse.

"When I did see him, I'd be lying if I said I didn't shed any tears," Dubins said. "I mean I had to turn around, catch my breath and you know, he's way stronger than I am."

Monday, strength became a theme as members of the University of Louisville Cards football team learned about courage off the field.

"I'd basically put any one of these kids up against any one of them and that's why the players come out," said Dubins. "They spend a lot of time with them and they feel the same way."

The kids are showing both the players and the rest of us how winning can take on a whole new meaning when it's not about the score, but about life.

"I'm doing good and there's no sign of cancer at all in my body," said Caden.  He's been cancer-free for eleven years this December.

Indian Summer Camp doesn't just help the children who are fighting cancer, but also their families as well. It uses donations in their mission to do that. To find out how to get involved, click here.

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