Local Family Enjoys Camp Alphie - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local Family Enjoys Camp Alphie

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Ceta Canyon, TX - Camp Alphie is back again this year, and although all of these children are having fun, one local family has a deep appreciation for this experience.

Izaylyn Cazares is at this year's camp for his brothers. "Both my brothers had cancer. One is going through it and one has already finished it," said Cazares.

When Izaylyn's family found out that both of the youngest son's had cancer it was devastating. "I guess we were worried that we had it since both our brother had it. So, we are getting tested," said Cazares.

But for this week, Izaylyn's brothers and the rest of his family are not thinking about tests, medication, or doctors. "Kind of gets our minds off of things so we just think about different things instead of just having cancer all the time," said Cazares.

And being at Ceta Canyon for Camp Alphie has helped. Annette Butler with the Circle of Friends has been helping out this program for years and says it a time for them to have fun and enjoy life. These children participate in summer camp activities with their peers; other children battling cancer.

"It's nice because they'll be around children who understand what they're going through," said Cazares.

Pediatric Oncologist, Brenda Chandler has been a part of this program for 18 years and says the program sees new faces every year. "This is the biggest one we've had so far. We had 70 register, 66 show up. We have 16 brand new campers," said Chandler.

These children come from the Amarillo area, the Oklahoma Panhandle, and Lubbock. "We don't turn anybody down," said Chandler.

And because this camp has been running for 26 years, the children and parents have positive feedback. "When Friday comes along, they don't want to go home. They want to stay," said Chandler.

And as the week goes one, Izaylyn says he's seen a change in attitude from his brothers. "Yeah, they're happier," said Cazares.