Saturday night was a big night for the Camp Magical Moments family, a cancer camp for kids in Swan Valley. It was the premiere and signing of the book, “Portraits of Joy.”
Many of the kids featured in the book came out to sign them. They are all cancer survivors who attended Camp Magical Moments, a camp specifically for kids who have or had cancer. Now they’re featured in the book “Portraits of Joy.” The book, which was inspired by President George W. Bush’s “Portraits of Courage,” features paintings of 19 campers, three who have passed away from their cancer. It gives these kids a chance to tell their story.
“It’s a blessing,” said Ivana Nunez, one of the kids featured in the book.
“Being a part of the book and everything, it helps you be appreciative of what my life has been,” said Jack Romney, another childhood cancer survivor featured. “And about how the camp has helped and how my life has been changed by these experiences, especially cancer and the camp and everything.”
The book is a fundraiser for the camp, which offers four free camps each year. One for kids with cancer, one for their siblings, one for dads and another for moms. This book gives parents a chance to talk about what they’ve gone through with their kids and how much camp means to them.
“Hearing then what it was like having a child with cancer and what they went through and then they were able to go to camp and what camp meant to them,” said Ann Walsh, founder of Camp Magical Moments. “And how it changed some of their lives. That has just been overwhelming and just very inspiring and it’s been fantastic.”
All of the portraits were done by artist Karen Chick, who wanted to do something for the camp at which she has volunteered. While working on the book, Karen was diagnosed with cancer herself, giving her a whole new outlook on the project.
“It really gave me appreciation for these kids,” Chick said. “I mean, what they went through, which I knew, I knew, but then to go through chemo and radiation myself and everything else I had to go through those children are blessed.”
The “Portraits of Joy” book is $40. If you would like to buy one, Great Harvest Bread Company in Idaho Falls will start selling them on Monday. You can also purchase them through the camp’s website which you can find here.