A summer camp for young cancer patients near Calgary is getting something new for its young campers — custom-built reading forts where the kids can take a break and recharge.
Designers and builders have teamed up to create five of the forts for Camp Kindle, about an hour’s drive northwest of Calgary.
They’ll be a welcome addition for campers like 15-year-old Ryane Nethery, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of three.
“I went through nine rounds of radiation and 10 rounds of chemotherapy,” Nethery said.
Through it all, her yearly visits to Camp Kindle provided a welcome break from dealing with cancer.
“Everything at camp is just filled with laughter and fun,” Nethery said. “Even when you’re sick, it just feels like you’re a normal kid.”
Calgary interior designer Rochelle Cote jumped at the chance to add to the experience, creating an A-frame cabin for the camp.
“We wanted it to be fun and colourful, just so that it’s welcoming to everyone,” Cote said.
Dealing with cancer has recently become part of Cote’s life.
“My dad has cancer right now,” she said. “He’s doing quite well, but it helped me to understand the stress that it can cause, and if I can give back and help in any way, I wanted to be part of that.”
Nethery has been cancer-free for six years, but her doctors are carefully monitoring her and the disease has taken a permanent toll.
“The chemotherapy gave me a serious heart condition,” Nethery said.
She’s heading out next week for a few days of fun at Camp Kindle, looking forward to enjoying the new reading forts.
The reading forts will be on display at a fundraising event for Kids Cancer Care on Thursday, Aug. 15, before being taken to Camp Kindle.