Camp Dream Street gives sick kids an outdoor camping experience – Entertainment & Life – Times Record


Kayaking, fishing and the challenge course were some of Jacob Keys’ favorite things to do at Camp Dream Street, he said. The pottery was also pretty cool.

Camp Dream Street offered an opportunity to Keys, 19, of Cedarville, after being diagnosed with leukemia in 2006. A We Care Foundation program, Camp Dream Street has empowered children ages 6 to 16 across the country. ‘Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma and southern Missouri who have been diagnosed with cancer and associated hematopoietic diseases attend camp each year.

Healthy siblings of campers can also attend camp if there is room, said Maureen Didion, executive director of the We Care Foundation.

The 28th annual Dream Street Camp is scheduled for July 1-7 at Subiaco Academy in Subiaco, Didion said. Subiaco has been very accommodating, she added, asking Didion what they can do for her.

“We love Camp Dream Street,” said Harmonie Moore.

Without Camp Dream Street, children like her son, Timothy Moore, would not have been able to attend camp. When Timothy, who turns 10 in June, first visited the camp, he was still undergoing chemotherapy, she said. He was undergoing oral chemotherapy, but most camps would not allow him to participate while he was taking the drugs. A nurse administered the medicine while the boy was in camp.

Timothy was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in June 2012 at the age of 4, said Harmonie Moore. He had mild fevers and the doctors kept telling him that everything was fine. Her mother’s instincts kept sending her back to the doctor’s office, not allowing her to accept “good” for an answer, she said.

Receiving the diagnosis “was like a whirlwind,” said Harmonie Moore. Today, Timothy is in remission. He is no longer taking chemotherapy, she said.

“It works well (and) has no setbacks.”

Timothy Moore “is so excited about the camp every year,” said Harmonie Moore. He makes new friends and sees old ones, she says. He comes home like a tired dog because he played so hard at camp.

When asked what he liked about the camp, Timothy replied “everything, especially swimming”.

“He loves the camp,” said Harmonie Moore. He enjoys fishing, canoeing, archery and kayaking, she says. He also enjoyed making pottery and other arts and crafts at the camp.

The photograph will be offered to older campers this year, Didion said. The We Care Foundation received a grant from the Kampgrounds of America (KOA) to purchase cameras for the classroom.

Since Jacob Keys was in sixth grade, he has attended Camp Dream Street, he said. Once he was 16 he graduated from the camp and now attends as a camp counselor. It’s actually quite fun, he says. Taking care of the campers and making sure they have fun is his role as an instructor.

“Basically, we’re kids with responsibilities,” Keys said of his role as an advisor.

In return for his volunteering as a counselor, Keys received a scholarship during his first semester of college that paid for the computer he needed for his online classes, and during his second semester he received a scholarship. was able to buy some of the books he needed.

In May 2017, Keys graduated from Cedarville High School, he said. A year later, in May 2018 – thanks to the Western Arkansas Technical Center’s program that allowed him early release from high school to take college courses at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith – he graduated from welding associate, he said. He will continue his studies there and graduate with an automotive degree this fall.

The We Care Foundation sponsors a variety of programs to help children ages 6 to 16 and their families year-round with non-medical support, orientation, educational programs and crisis intervention, Didion said.

In addition to offering Camp Dream Street and providing college scholarships, a family camp is also available for families whose children are too sick to attend Camp Dream Street, she said. Families spend Labor Day weekend at Devil’s Den State Park in West Fork. Each family has their own cabin and plans their own activities, Didion said. Priority is given to families who have a child under the age of 6 or too ill to attend Camp Dream Street.

Families of children with cancer or related illnesses often face financial hardship, Didion said. We Care is helping families by providing them with clothes and supplies that might be needed for camp or college, she said. Anyone interested in supporting the foundation to better help the children it serves can contact Didion at 782-8822 or by email at wecarefoundationfs@gmail.com. The foundation’s website is WeCareFound.org.

Camp Dream Street offers parents “the only break they could have” to care for their sick children, Didion said.

“It’s one of the funniest places I’ve been to,” said Timothy Moore.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to correct the date Jacob Keys was first diagnosed with leukemia.


Sally J. Minick

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