INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s almost time to start thinking about camp for the kids. But there’s a unique one in central Indiana that’s giving brave children a special week to escape.
It’s called Camp Little Red Door. It’s a place where kids who are battling cancer or are in remission can just go and be kids—no questions, no strange looks from others. They say it’s their safe place and their home away from home.
When you see the kids’ smiling faces, you would think it’s just your everyday summer camp with a swimming pool, horseback riding and more. But for kids like Megan Broviak, Camp Little Red Door is much more.
Megan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2015.
“Basically, the chemo just destroys all of them, so it makes you get sick really easily,” she said. The day before our interview today, Megan went through chemo. The week before, she celebrated her 13th birthday. But the past few months have been hard on her.
“Last year at camp was my first year going without any medication at all,” she told us. “But then I relapsed just in September, October time.”
After her relapse, she told me one of the things that kept her going was thinking about camp, and going back to all her friends and the people who understand her without question.
“I met a lot of different people there that had the same thing as I did, which you don’t really do that every day,” said Megan.
Whitney Melton has been a nurse with Camp Little Red Door since 2015. She sees first hand the impact the camp has on the kids.
“We get to see the resiliency of these kids and when they show up,” said Melton. “They’re surrounded by people that just understand where they’re coming from without needing an explanation as to why they don’t have any hair on their head or why that scar is there or why they’re hurt or were sick.”
Melton went on to say Camp Little Red Door removes the barriers for the kids to just be kids. They don’t feel different, they feel empowered – like superheroes.
“I think when they’re going through treatment, we’re treating their physical selves and we’re managing their illness, but there’s a whole other emotional aspect and community aspect with that Camp Little Red Door really offers,” said Melton. “They offer relationships that have a lasting affect year after year.”
When kids go to camp, they also get a special backpack full of things to help them when they leave, including an Emma Bear. They’re donated by Emma Mann and her family. The bears are a special friend for the kids to have with them when they go through chemo. But also, as a reminder of all the fun they had at camp.
While Camp Little Red Door may seem like a regular summer camp, it’s so much more. It shows the world that kids like Megan are more than their cancer diagnosis.
They are truly superheroes without capes.
Registration for Camp Little Red Door is open now! Click here for more information.