APRIL SCHIPPERS of NAPERVILLE | Meet the Founder of Camp Out from Cancer
A LOVE FOR HELPING OTHERS
After Feeling Beyond Blessed by All the Support She Received, this Local Mom Wanted to "Pay it Forward" by Providing Comfort for Others Who Also Were Enduring Similar Circumstances
WEST SUBURBAN CHICAGO–April’s son, Isaac was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was just 5 years old. He went through brain surgery, 30 days of radiation, and nine rounds of chemotherapy over 15 months. Currently in remission, April feels very blessed by all the support they received and recognized she wanted to "Pay it Forward" by providing comfort for others who also were enduring similar circumstances.
Knowing it was a scary time for her son, she wanted to give families something fun to do to help take their mind off of cancer; hence, Camp Out From Cancer was formed in 2013.
“We are 100% volunteer-based and our care packages include: an indoor pop-up play tent, books, flashlight, glow bracelet, s'mores snack, reusable book bag, a Lego set, and socks that say "I Am Brave!", April says. “We have sent 800+ care packages to children with cancer. All of this is done in our basement and 90% of the care packages have been packed by Isaac and my daughter Ivy.”
April finds solace in their organization. As a 1st grade teacher and busy mom, COFC is her therapy to keep her “cancer mom mind focused in a positive way”.
IN APRIL'S OWN WORDS.....
"Isaac and our family went back to his hospital, for what had now become a tradition, to say thank you to the doctors and nurses who treated him on his anniversary weekend. That year Isaac with our help decided to make several care packages to give to some of the kids who were at the hospital. Ironically, since Isaac was a minor he was no longer allowed to enter the pediatric oncology wing. Luckily the child life specialist found a family that was willing to meet us in the waiting room. Out walked a little girl with a mask on her face and her IV pole in tow. We introduced ourselves and gave her a care package. During the next few minutes, we found out that her name was Sydney and she was 5 years old. She had just been diagnosed with leukemia and had not yet been told by her family that she had cancer. Isaac, who has a very quiet disposition, talked with Sydney and tried to help her feel better; she had told him that she didn’t like her newly placed port and Isaac told her that he hated his too and then reassured her before long it would be gone as he showed her his scar of all that was left. We gave our best wishes and Sydney was heading back to her room. After just a few minutes, the child life specialist came out to the waiting room and showed us pictures of beautiful Sydney in her room already “camping out” in her tent. It was at that very moment, CAMP OUT FROM CANCER was created." –April Schippers
AREAS OF SPECIALTY
Event Planning for Fundraising Activities
Purchasing of Supplies and Shipping for Care Packages
Mentor to Cancer Patients
MENTORING THE FUTURE
"I am a firm believer that there is always a silver-lining even in the most trying of times. I obviously wish that cancer never entered Isaac's life, but there has been so much good that has come through this difficult diagnosis. Our family is stronger; we have met amazing souls on this journey that have become family. Our family is dedicated to putting positive energy into our world. Kindness is truly magically and contagious." –April Schippers
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS
Isaac Parris...Inspiring Youth of 2013 - Oswego Women's Chamber of Commerce
Isaac Parris...National Ambassador for St. Baldrick's 2016
Non-Profit Recipient for the 2017 Kindness Gala
Wonder Woman of the Week, May 2016 - WGN 720 am
15 Most Charitable Women of 2018, Glancer Magazine
Camp Out From Cancer
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