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Childrens Oncology Services, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: One Step Programs from Children's Oncology Services, Inc. exist so kids with cancer can enjoy experiences and bond with other pediatric cancer patients outside of the hospital. We work to provide an environment where the shared experiences help provide hope, strength and understanding.

Results: In 1978, Dr. Edward Baum, a pediatric oncologist at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, had an idea. As a witness to the extended medical treatments of children with cancer, and the social and developmental challenges that can result from missed school and activities--Dr. Baum wanted to create a healing experience for these special kids. Children's Oncology Services, Inc., and its One Step At A Time Summer Camp were born. The first summer, 40 campers and 14 volunteers traveled to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for the inaugural camp. For many of these children, it was the first time they connected with other kids just like them--and together they learned to challenge themselves in new ways while giving each other strength and hope along the way. Over the past four decades, Children's Oncology Services has expanded its programming and services to meet the needs of more than 11,000 children and their families. Today, One Step Programs have expanded far beyond Summer Camp. Programs include government advocacy trips, skiing, horseback riding, and urban camps right in the heart of Chicago. Through One Step Programs, children learn that they are survivors, not patients, and they are not alone. Most important, campers often return home with a greater sense of hope, confidence and determination in their own journey with cancer.

Target demographics: pediatric cancer patients and surviviors

Direct beneficiaries per year: 600 children

Geographic areas served: midwestern states

Programs: Summer Camp, Winter Camp, Utah Ski Program, Springfield-IL Program, Chicago Day Camp, Whitewater Adventure Program, Washington D.C. Program, Brain Tumor Family Camp, Sibling Camp, Dude Ranch, and Family Camp.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

I have volunteered as a camp counselor for various programs over the past several years. COSI is an amazing organization and is one that you get so much more out of then you put into it because of all of the amazing kids you meet. You would never guess from first meeting them what they have been through. The other counselors are also so much fun to work with as well. By the end of your first week volunteering, you will be more tired then you ever thought possible but you will also start counting down the days until you get to go back. :)


Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a great organization, they help and give the kids time to spend with their peers or make new friends.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is truly a remarkable camp as it allows children with cancer or who have survived cancer to "reclaim their lives," by letting kids be kids. It is a camp designed to let campers experience the joys of being a child while forgetting the disease that brought them together.

Review from Guidestar