Healthcare Workers Make a Difference as Summer Camp Volunteers
Linda Childers, Monster Contributing Writer
Cady says her own chronic health problems help her empathize with her young charges, who range in age from 6 to 14 and have chronic illnesses such as cystic fibrosis and heart disease.
Afflicted with both Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that has attacked her respiratory system, and asthma, Cady often relies on oxygen and a continuous positive airway pressure machine. While her condition has caused her to take a leave of absence from her full-time job as a pediatric nurse at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center for the past year, it hasn’t dampened her enthusiasm or desire to volunteer at the camp, founded by Children’s cardiologist Stanley Stamm, MD.
“The children know I have several chronic illnesses, but they see me blowing bubbles and having fun, and they realize that life can still be good even when you’re sick,” Cady says.
Medical volunteers have a tremendous impact on the lives of campers and their families. Without them, most camps wouldn’t be able to operate.
“Every child deserves the opportunity to have fun and concentrate on being a child rather than a patient,” she says. “We’re also offering their families a much-needed respite.”