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Jan 29th, 2018

I am Barbara Waldmann Ward, a Registered Nurse at the Dance Blue Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic at the University of Kentucky.  I have worked with children who have cancer for 37 years. I have been a volunteer for Indian Summer Camp and Kids Cancer Alliance for more than 20 years as a camp nurse and a camp counselor. I  lost my sister Jo Ann, to Leukemia. In 2009 I was finishing treatment for stage 2/3 breast cancer which involved chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries and hospitals stays.  This, of course, gave me a new perspective on the experiences that the children and families I have cared for have gone through. 

Indian Summer Camp has always been a passion of mine because of the smiles and escape it provides children who have gone through such difficult times. Indian Summer Camp also provided me a goal to get better from my treatment.  When I told my doctor I needed to be able to go to camp, he told me he wasn’t sure I could get there and we would have to wait and see.  I told him that was not an option.

So, I wanted to do more. Tennis is another passion of mine, and I thought having a tennis event at the Lexington Tennis Club would provide a way to raise some funds for Indian Summer Camp and Kids Cancer Alliance. I asked club manager about doing this and after she heard what wonderful things Indian Summer Camp did for children with cancer and their families, she and the Club were on board. 

On February 23rd, the Lexington Tennis Club will be hosting the 9th Annual Indian Summer Camp Tennis Event.  The Lexington tennis community is smaller than those in Louisville and Cincinnati, but I have learned over the past 9 years that the Lexington tennis community is second to none. Those who sponsor, play and participate in the silent auction have LARGE hearts and share the passion to help Kentucky’s children and their families!  In the past 8 years, this tennis event has raised nearly $90,000, and it will be quite a milestone to surpass the $100,000 mark!  The partnership between The Lexington Tennis Club and Kids Cancer Alliance is proof of what good things we can accomplish when we join together to help Kentuckiana's children with cancer and their families.

I encourage everyone to help us make the event a huge success on February 23rd!  If you are a tennis player, come play. You can also participate in our silent auction online, and sponsorships are still available. All of the money raised goes to support the programs of Kids Cancer Alliance, such as Indian Summer Camp.

There is a saying I have always appreciated. "Until cancer is cured…..there’s camp!"