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Camp iHope Helping North Texas Kids Deal With Cancer

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A unique North Texas summer camp is giving hope and helping kids fight cancer at the same time. Camp iHope was started at Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas.

The idea is to help sick kids temporarily forget their difficult reality.

When CBS 11 News went to Camp iHope it was superhero week! Games, swimming, and arts and crafts were just some of the fun kids battling cancer were enjoying — worry-free.

Like adults, children are drawn to others who know about their experience. Eight-year-old Hannah English said, “Me and Bailey have the same type of leukemia.” Her older friend finished her thought saying, “We’re on the same schedule, so we go to the clinic  at the hospital the same days. “

Patients Hannah, Bailey, and Madison had already had a big day. Bailey Copely, 17, reviewed some of the events saying, “We went zip lining, canoeing [and] fishing.”

And the daytime fun was just a precursor to the nighttime events. “We went to the spa today,” 8-year-old Madison Bryant recalled, and then added, “We have a dance tonight. I’m waiting for a boy to ask me.”

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

The week-long camp for patients and their siblings is now in its fourth year and has become an inspiration to some. Imani Miller, 18, has been a part of the program from the start and said she plans to return as a counselor.

“It’s a really cool place for kids to come and just feel normal. Which is what everyone strives for when battling cancer,” she said.

Imani’s brother, Elijah, said that at Camp iHope healthy siblings, too, finally feel understood. “It really is great to see people who understand what our family’s went through, ‘cause they’ve all been through the same thing,” the 17-year-old explained.

Camp iHope is held at the Collin County Adventure Camp. This year more than 100 kids participated in the week-long camp.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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