Rating: 5 stars 95 95 reviews
Mental Health, Philanthropy, Cancer, Sports
16 Digital Drive Suite 130 Novato CA 94949 USA
The mission of Okizu is to provide peer support, respite, mentoring, and recreational programs to meet the needs of all members of families affected by childhood cancer.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the lives of both the patient and the entire family are changed forever. Children who are diagnosed with cancer miss a normal childhood. Their illness, treatment, and complications can keep them from enjoying activities that are often taken for granted. And yet, like all children, they need the opportunity to grow, experiment and discover independence. Siblings, who have a higher incidence of non-adaptive and at-risk behaviors, need support to maintain self-esteem and to manage anxiety and conflicting feelings. Parents, whose emotional and financial resources are severely strained, also need respite, encouragement and the opportunity to share information with other families who have had to make similar treatment and strategic decisions. Those who have tragically lost their children to cancer greatly benefit from being able to share their experiences and remember their loved ones with others who are also coping with the death of a child. Even long after the initial phase of treatment is concluded, young adults affected by childhood cancer also struggle to live normal lives and face their future with courage and hope. Situated on 500 beautiful acres near Lake Oroville, Okizu's unique approach allows us to address the emotional, psychological, and social needs of each family member, which are often neglected by traditional medical providers. One unique aspect of camp is grouping children together in all stages of treatment and recovery. By doing this, and not limiting the amount of summers a child can attend, we are able to provide a built-in peer support network that allows newly diagnosed campers to interact with other campers, similar in age and interest, who have already been through what they're currently forced to experience. Campers provide hope and encouragement to each other, simply by sharing a meal or a canoe ride together. As one camper so aptly put it, "Camp Okizu is my gas station. It fills me up and helps me get through the year." Tragically, more than 1,500 children in California are diagnosed with cancer every year. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of cancer in children is expected to continue to increase, between 1-4% a year. On a positive side, survival rates have increased dramatically during this same time period so that 70% of the children will survive. This combination of factors translates to a high demand for the services we provide to families affected by pediatric cancers.
Direct beneficiaries per year:
More than 3,000 members of families with childhood cancer.
Geographic areas served:
Okizu 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:
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Reviews for Okizu
I started going to Camp Okizu at a young age I think about 5 or 6 so a little more than 20 years ago, and I truly enjoyed every moment that I've had there. From kayaking, archery, night hikes, baseball lunch, learning silly camp songs, and even talking about the reason why camp Okizu exist...The location may have changed but the memories will last a lifetime. Thanks OKIZU!
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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