|Not all heroes wear capes; some come rolling down the highway in an RV, wielding the power and compassion to change the lives of children they have never met. When we think of companies and corporate partnerships, we don’t always see the personal and sometimes heartbreaking stories that drive the decisions to support programs like Care Camps. This is one of those peeks behind the curtain that reveals the humanity that connects us all.|
“When I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (cancer of the blood), I spent months undergoing radiation, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.” said Peter Liegl, CEO of Forest River, as he opens up about his personal battle with cancer and how it opened his eyes to the realities that children with cancer and their families face.
“While I was at the hospital going through my treatments, I saw hundreds of children going through all stages of cancer. As an adult, it is easier to accept the reality that life is short — but seeing babies, toddlers and children battling cancer is truly agonizing.”
|“While I was at the hospital going through my treatments, I saw hundreds of children going through all stages of cancer. As an adult, it is easier to accept the reality that life is short — but seeing babies, toddlers and children battling cancer is truly agonizing.”|
“I remember going to the Houston public park during my recovery just to get away and nature was an escape from the day-to-day cancer pains. Nature was satisfying and comforting to me. We want to help create that experience for everyone — especially children who may not otherwise have the opportunity.”
This experience prompted Peter to engage his employee base at Forest River to support the cause, as well as pledge $1 Million dollars as a company to help send children diagnosed with childhood cancer to specialized oncology summer camps.
The team acknowledged the hard reality that most of their employees and customers share a bond that no one wishes on another: the heartache of dealing with cancer, whether personally or in someone you love. Through a generous corporate partnership, Forest River has turned that shared bond of heartache into a beautiful healing gift for children struggling with cancer. “We have employees, family members, children with this disease. By giving back to Care Camps, we hope that every Forest River team member will be proud of this partnership.”
When news of the potential partnership with Care Camps reached Forest River employees, it ignited a spark within the organization. Forest River team members across the country have been inspired to individually take action, asking to volunteer at local camps, personally donate, or even create their own fundraiser for the cause. One such team member, Kevin McArt, is hoping to raffle off a trailer to support the kids who need Care Camps.
Together, the employee base has unified around a cause that impacts so many.
“ Cancer first impacted me at age six, when my mother was diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid. At twenty-six years of age, Mom was the center of our family’s universe. This was the first time that I saw my father cry, and will never forget my feelings at the time” shared Doug Gaeddert, General Manager Forest River.
“We have chosen to support Care Camps as we feel that this is a wonderful and vitally important mission, and we could have an extremely positive impact on its mission. To bring some “sunshine” into the lives of kids battling cancer, and the families supporting them. All of us are, and have been impacted by cancer in one way, shape or form. It was a unanimous vote by our management group to significantly support Care Camps.”
“We are all stewards of this earth” added Peter, “and giving back to people is very important in life. If we all give a little, it will go a long way in helping create positive memories for children in difficult times.”
The memories gifted to every child and their families by attending and experiencing these special oncology camps is something they will never forget.
We could not do this work without the generous support of partners like the employees of Forest River and individual donors just like you. You make this happen. You create hope for these kids. And that makes you a hero.
Find out more at koacarecamps.org