Kent Chase is planning a charity event in honor of his wife, Joann Chase, that could potentially have a huge financial impact on a camp for children who have a parent battling cancer.
Joann passed away in November 2009 after going through breast, bone and brain cancer. The Ahwatukee Foothills resident and her husband had children together, who are now 12 and 15.
Before she passed, the kids went to Camp Kesem in Mayer, Ariz. The camp is for kids whose parent or guardian has undergone, or is undergoing, cancer treatments. It is free, but spots are limited and the camp only takes place once each year. Chase said the camp helps the kids emotionally to process what is going on in their parent's life.
"The camp has had a major positive impact on both of their lives," he said. "Losing their mother was an extremely difficult experience for our kids, but Camp Kesem was a huge turning point in their lives."
Chase is planning to host a charity golf event in March, with the proceeds benefiting Camp Kesem. With the fundraising dollars, he hopes to get more buses to open the camp to more children.
The camp is a week-long, overnight experience for kids ages 6 to 16.
It is operated by Arizona State University undergraduates, who fundraise throughout the year in order to put the camp on. They accept roughly 80 campers, with one of the many positives being that there is usually one counselor for every two campers.
"I think the snowball effect is in play," Chase said. "At the camp they build up the positives. They both totally loved the experience."
Joann battled cancer for eight years. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002.
After more than five years without another reoccurrence, she had pain in her chest, and doctors found it had metastasized to her bones shortly after it was discovered in her brain.
"Over 1,000 people came to her funeral, I think that shows how much she was loved by the community," Chase said.
Stay tuned to the AFN for more details on the golf event in March.To find out more about Camp Kesem, visit www.CampKesem.org.
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