With springtime upon us, many look ahead with excitement to warmer weather, flowers in bloom and more hours of daylight. But for some, these signs of spring also bring the common frustrations associated with asthma and allergies. This is especially true for people who enjoy exercising outdoors.
Dr. Kerry M. Moss, a Pediatric Oncologist/ Hematologist at Connecticut
Children’s Medical Center, was profoundly impacted by her experiences at
the SeriousFun camp in Connecticut. Dr. Moss shares with us her story
of the transformational power of camp and the healing power of laughter.
Dr. Kerry M. Moss, a Pediatric Oncologist/ Hematologist at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, was profoundly impacted by her experiences at the SeriousFun camp in Connecticut. Dr. Moss shares with us her story of the transformational power of camp and the healing power of laughter:
When I first volunteered at camp I was a brand new physician. It didn’t take long before I realized that the camp experience changes children's lives as well as the lives of those who care for them. Being a SeriousFun camp physician not only makes me a better doctor, it makes me a better person.
The positive impact camp has on children with serious illnesses is both immediate and long lasting. One of the most amazing benefits that campers receive is the gift of normalcy. It is incredible to see how quickly children thrive when they feel they are accepted, when they are surrounded by other children, staff and counselors who understand exactly what they are going through.
Medicine is important, but there is an extraordinary amount of healing power in the laughter and love that camp provides. Having a life threatening illness is physically and emotionally stressful on children and their families. Their lives are tied to a rigid schedule that revolves around treatments, taking medications and visits to the doctor.
At camp, the opposite takes place: the medical component revolves around their schedule and activities, be it an early morning swim or rehearsing a dance routine for Stage Night. SeriousFun camps focus on showing children that their illness isn’t what defines them. Every child has unique talents—making a car in woodworking, hitting a bull’s eye in archery, or being a good friend to a cabin mate— all of these attributes are equally important.
SeriousFun Children’s Network camp experience doesn’t end when a child leaves camp—it becomes an integral, continual part of who they are and in turn who we are as a team. Because we have shared this amazing experience together, the children see me as a person and not just as a doctor.
Camp humanizes me, creating a special bond between patient and provider. As a first-year Resident, it was my dream to volunteer at SeriousFun camps; realizing this dream has transformed my life.