Strength, bravery, the Camp Quality way. It’s the motto of the annual camp for kids with cancer here in Wichita. Susie Mooney helped create this place to let the children forget about the their disease so they can just be kids again.
Every summer, Camp Quality is where you’ll find Susie. She always has a beaming smile and an a encouraging word or two for the kids.
While many other states had a Camp Quality, Kansas did not. So, 12 years ago, Susie decided to start a safe place for kids with cancer here in the sunflower state.
“I fit. I think that was the word that that they used, this is a place I fit. It’s like why we do this for them just sticks with me, kind of gets to you every time you hear it, because, that’s what we want, that’s what we want to do for them,” said Mooney.
Thanks to donations, the campers don’t pay a penny for the week long camp. To attend camp, the kids are between ages 4 to 17 and have to be within five years of their last treatment.
Sadly, in the last 12 years, 11 campers have lost their battle with cancer, three in just the last year. The camp has become a way for the children to deal with that loss and remember their friends.
Some people call Susie a hero for all that she is done with Camp Quality.
“Because I give everything I have which goes into this. I just want them to go home and say this was the best week I’ve ever had, and I get emails from parents all year long going they can’t wait for next year,” said Mooney.
Susie says it’s the campers who should have that title.
“Clearly, the kids are the heroes. On the back of the shirt, it shows that there is strength, bravery and the Camp Quality way. So, the kids are the heroes not me. I’m just trying to give them a good time that’s all I want to do,” said Mooney.
Camp Quality has a graduation ceremony for the kids once they reach 17 years old. As you can imagine, it’s an emotional event for the campers and their families.
If you have a Hometown Hero we’d love to hear about them. Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.