Brady was diagnosed with leukemia, the most common type of cancer in children, in 2020. Five months after his diagnosis, during his cancer treatment, Brady joined Camp Happy Days for our 2020 Camp in a Box. Camp in a Box was entirely virtual due to Covid-19, but throughout the next year Brady and his family also came to our drive-in movie nights and then joined us for our 2021 Family Camp. During Family Camp, Brady made new friends and climbed all the way to the top of the rock wall, something he’d been preparing to do since virtual camp! His family got to meet other families in Camp Happy Days programs, who have been through struggles like their own. Brady’s mom wrote this letter to Camp Happy Days:
“To our new CHD Family,
Just typing up this email is bringing tears to my eyes. A huge thank-you to each and every one of the staff and volunteers who made our kids’ first camp experience so amazing. We didn’t really know what to expect and everyone’s kindness, the new experiences gained from all the programming (that Slip n Slide!) and the food (we’re still stuffed!) led to memories that will last a lifetime for our family. Additionally, we loved meeting the other families. I can’t imagine all the planning, fundraising, and logistics that go into camp but boy are we grateful. Each day was better than the one before! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts… our kids are counting the days until they can come back next summer.”
In April 2021, Brady finished his cancer treatment. He, his sister Reese, and his parents can remain a part of the Camp Happy Days community until Brady and Reese are 17—and then ,if they choose, they can return as counselors and volunteers to help other families who are just beginning their journey.