These shouts echo in the ears of passengers as their cruise ship shoves off from port, the familiar fading into the distance.
But at Camp Mak-A-Dream, we entered our own high seas adventure greeted by Love Boat’s Julie for our theme night—a cruise ship.
We are ovarian cancer survivors. Many of us donned sailor costumes, having navigated the uncharted waters of ovarian cancer and chemotherapy. Some wore white T-shirts emblazoned across the front: “I refuse to sink.”
Another camper sported a captain’s hat and grasped a life preserver ring. A reminder that on the choppy waters of ovarian cancer, we grab our life preservers and hold on.
Campers in formals, furs and glitz waltzed through our ship, embracing the glamour, and for one night forgetting the baggage we would rather leave behind. We admired costumed tables topped with hand-sewn delicacies while we nibbled on the chef’s specialties.
We frolicked with dolphins, cruised through shark-infested waters and encountered a life-size Captain Jack. His captain’s wheel beckoned us. How we longed to captain our own ship, grip the wheel, steer into a cancer-free harbor and drop anchor in the sea of hope.
At Camp Mak-A-Dream, nestled in the Rockies near Missoula Montana, ovarian cancer survivors find hope. We find hope in the testimonies and courage of other survivors who have navigated the waters of ovarian cancer, despite setbacks. New treatments are shared. And one day, we hope for a cure.
June is National Camping Month. So this is a good time to plan your trip to Camp Mak-A-Dream. Registration is now open for the fall ovarian cancer camp. If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, consider embarking on this adventure. The camp is free of charge to ovarian cancer survivors.