Rating: 5 stars 67 reviews
Issues: Mental Health, Philanthropy, Cancer, Sports
Location: 16 Digital Drive Novato CA 94949 USA
Geographic areas served: Northern California
Programs: The Okizu Foundation provides free camp programs for any child or family in northern California and Nevada that is affected by pediatric cancer. Recognizing that childhood cancer affects the entire family, we provide programs for siblings, young adults, parents and families as a whole. Our camp programs include:
- Oncology Camp: A one-week camp for 6-17 year olds who have or have had cancer. Offered three times each summer, Oncology Camp provides children with cancer a chance to be a part of a close-knit group of friends and enjoy the challenges and excitement of outdoor activities, which are not normally a part of a sick child's daily life. Seeing other children who are bald or missing a limb and yet are still able to run, laugh and play can make a real difference in a child's ability to cope with cancer. This support is invaluable to a child's overall recovery from cancer and the often-rigorous treatments that must be endured.
- SIBS (Special and Important Brothers and Sisters) Camp: Also a one-week summer camp for children 6-17 years old, SIBS Camp is one of the few places in the country where siblings receive emotional and psychological support to deal with their own unique set of challenges, including feelings of guilt, resentment, fear, confusion, and anger, which can be exacerbated by additional responsibilities placed on them and by the lack of time and support parents are able to provide.
- Family Camp Weekends: Provided six times a year, Family Camp is an experience designed to give families a few days of fun, play and relaxation, and to gain strength and support through discussions with other families who also struggle with the affects of pediatric cancer.
- Bereavement Camp Weekends: Provided twice a year, Bereavement Camp began when a group of families suggested we hold a camp especially for those suffering from the loss of a child due to cancer. The Bereaved Family Camp Weekends give families the opportunity to speak more freely about their experiences and bond with others who are also coping with the death of a child.
- Teens-n-Twenties (TNT) Program: Provided three weekends a year for young adults 18-25 years of age, TNT serves many of our prior campers, who had literally outgrown our camp programs but still felt a strong need to come together. These weekends provide the teenagers and young adults with an ongoing opportunity to strengthen their friendships and give and receive support from their peers.
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My son was diagnosed with Leukemia as a young boy. It is difficult to take a trip as a family with a sick child who needs medications, is bald and acting up because of all the medications. We were able to attend several family weekends at Camp Okizu where all those things are normal, everyone has been there, nobody notices the loss of hair and other families have advice on how to deal with things. He is now in remission and a camper in the summer oncology camp...he turned down a trip to Europe because he'd rather spent a week at Camp Okizu. His older brother was under lots of stress when his brother got sick and was finally able to talk about it with other kids at siblings camp. My husband and I have donated a car, helped with fundraisers and are planning to do much more for this amazing organization that brings so much joy to families living through the nightmare of childhood cancer.
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