A Letter From Judy Zocchi
After the loss of my beloved husband, Dave, to a brain tumor I found, like my contemporaries, that the difficulty continues after the person passes away. There is the initial year of “firsts”, profound grief, physical recovery from the caretaking regime, and trying to reinvent life without your loved one. I was an adult, and it was really hard for me. I could not imagine how hard it would be for a child whose life was impacted by the same set of circumstances. Most children look to a parent for all of their needs. A parent is ultimately responsible for the safety and security of their child. What happens when that changes? When a parent can no longer manage their affairs, drive, walk, talk – what happens when their personality changes? When they don’t remember their child? This does not happen to all who are diagnosed with a brain tumor, there are strong survivors. But for many children, this is their reality.
Camp Jinka was created to support these children, no matter what stage of the diagnosis of the disease, (or even death) they might be facing. They are nurtured in a loving environment where they create art, explore the outdoors and play games with other children who are in the same situation. They are with children who “get it” even if they never speak of it. They are encouraged to bring a friend, and transportation is provided if a parent can’t drive. As for the parents, it is a welcomed respite for them and an opportunity for their children to have an escape and be a kid again!
Fondly – Judy Zocchi