There are few things that terrify parents more than the idea that their children might be seriously sick.
From the time you first realize that you might just possibly be pregnant, you worry. Is the baby not kicking enough? Kicking too much? Too big? Too small? Did you eat the wrong thing? Drink caffeine? Think of drinking wine? Sleep too much? Exercise too little? Think bad thoughts?
The worry only gets worse. Babies might be adorable – no, babies are adorable – but they also are fear magnets. Every cough might be a symptom of horrors to come. And as children grow, so too do our fears for them. Each step toward independence also is a step toward danger.
It is easy to joke about it, but for some people it is a terrible reality. Some children do get sick; of those, most get better, but also some die. For some parents the nightmare never ends.
The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades’ Camp Dream Street, which we write about on page 24, cannot cure children of cancer, but it can give them and their siblings a chance to have normal fun, surrounded by other people who demand no explanations and no pretenses from them. It can give children and their parents hope, surrounded as they are by young people who have been able to outlast cancer. It gives them unconditional love, and we all know the occasional miracles such love can provide.
We are lucky to have such a resource in our community for everyone who is unlucky enough to need it.