Eight-year-old Imogen is determined not to be in hospital this Christmas.
She’s been in and out of hospital ever since doctors found cancer on her liver four years ago. The cancerous mass grew rapidly, and she needed two types of chemotherapy, which was physically brutal on her young body. Imogen lost so much weight that she needed a feeding tube to survive. Then her parents received even more devastating news - Imogen’s chemotherapy wasn’t working and she would need a liver transplant to stop the cancer.
Imogen has had a liver transplant and part of her bowel removed. She developed sepsis and had a string of dangerous allergic reactions. She’s nearly died – several times – from complications.
Her mum Natalie explains that sometimes, it’s the everyday moments that have been the most heartbreaking:
“Imogen hates needles. She’s made a couple of nurses cry because she’s pleaded with them by saying, ‘I'll be a real good girl. I really like you, just please don't hurt me.’”
Cancer hurts children like Imogen, so unfairly, and this year the fear of COVID-19 has added to their pain, distress and isolation. Like all kids facing cancer Imogen needs a break at one of our fun and safe camps. Natalie says,
“Camp Quality gives kids that little shining star of hope that after all their pain, there’ll be something fun in their lives.”
Unfortunately, Camp Quality’s camps have been on hold for most of this year to protect our kids throughout the pandemic. This means 1,100 kids, just like Imogen, have missed out on the fun and relief from cancer that they desperately need, and our camps provide.
Camp Quality has now restarted camps in most states, with plans that they will all be up and running by Christmas (in strict accordance with COVID-19 safety regulations).
With so many children and families already on our waiting list, we urgently need support to meet the increased demand and host the extra camps needed in 2021.
Will you please help us support our precious kids like Imogen by sending your generous Christmas gift today?
Through your generosity, Camp Quality has been supporting children facing cancer and their families throughout the COVID-19 crisis: In hospital, with our Child Life Therapists; in isolation with our one-on-one digital playdates with the Camp Quality puppets; online at the Happiness Hub and most recently, at home with live streamed Virtual Camps supported with individual Camp-in-a-Box activity kits.
Imogen loved Virtual Camp and rated it 20/10.
However, nothing can replace the fun of our face-to-face camps, where little ones, like Imogen, can have glorious, grubby adventures with other children facing the same challenges. In October, we held our first post-COVID-19 camp in Western Australia – and it was a huge success.
But one camp in each state is just not enough and we have a huge backlog of children across the country to help. We urgently need to find the funds to run more camps and bring the sparkle back to the lives of kids like Imogen next year.
Will you help?