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Why do I kesem?

I will never forget the afternoons I spent sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office where my mom got her radiation treatment in the year following her breast cancer diagnosis. I will never forget the day I got picked up early from second grade to visit her in the hospital after her surgery. I will never forget the day my brothers got buzz cuts alongside my mom because she did not want to watch her hair fall out.

My mom’s diagnosis with breast cancer was one of the scariest things I experienced as a child. I was only eight and I didn’t really have the best grasp on what cancer meant other than that she was sick and it was not good. Now, I am lucky to be able to say that my mom is over ten years in remission and I am so grateful for that.


I would have loved to attend Camp Kesem during the summer that my mom underwent chemotherapy and our freezer was piled high with casseroles from the neighborhood families. But I am even happier to get to go to Camp Kesem now. Being a part of Camp Kesem is the greatest joy I could ever imagine having found in college and I am so thankful to get to co-chair such an incredible organization. I recently said that Karl Kesem was the mascot to my everyday and I really believe that – my days would be grayer if they did not have Camp Kesem in them.

So, why do I kesem? I kesem for my eight year old self and my nineteen year old self and every eight year old or nineteen year old or child of any age who has gone through the experience of having a parent with cancer. I kesem for my mom and parents like her who are helpless to their children as they undergo treatment. I kesem for all of us because I believe in the power of the magic that we make – it’s a real wonder what magic a community can create in one short week.

Keep Feelin’ The #CKLove,