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While many children may be cured of their tumours, neurological deficits affect them detrimentally and impact their families in subsequent years. Brainchild assists families during the years following recovery through their attendance at an annual family camp held in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
The camp, which is free of charge, allows families a chance to meet other families who have endured similar experiences in an informal, healthy outdoor environment. It also provides perspectives to siblings who often receive less attention from parents and allows them to be recognised for their strength and tenacity.
Supervised by camp instructors the children and their families are encouraged to relax and enjoy different activities. Sharing this time with siblings, it is a time for fun and to create new happier memories. Meeting other children who may also have a physical disability normalises an otherwise challenging environment. Children are keen observers of others and with support want to push boundaries not tried before providing much needed confidence.
Attendance by medical professionals who actively support Brainchild enables parents to discuss further support such as education scholarships and to be reassured if recovery is slow. Families gravitate to other families to discuss their own journey and this provides support and understanding.
The success of the camps is confirmed through overwhelmingly positive verbal feedback from the participants during the camps, ad hoc written correspondence and the number of requests from families to return another year.
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