Each August before school begins, patients and their siblings from MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital start packing their bags for one last hoorah at Camp A.O.K. -- otherwise known as Anderson's Older Kids.
For more than 20 years, the camp has been a place where kids age 13-18 come to experience a fun, week-long adventure away from the hospital.
Memories are made as campers participate in a variety of activities, from archery and tennis to horseback riding and fishing. Regardless of the campers' physical capabilities, there are activities that everyone can participate in. One of the highlights of Camp A.O.K. is the special prom hosted on Thursday night.
For parents, the camp is a safe retreat for their children, staffed with doctors and nurses from the Children's Cancer Hospital. It's also a place where patients can be themselves, share their experiences and fit right in among fellow patients and survivors.
Camp A.O.K. is funded by the MD Anderson Children's Art Project and hosts more than 50 campers each year at Deerfoot Youth Camp in Magnolia, Texas.
Whether campers come to reunite with their friends or just get away from the hospital, they all end up leaving with more than what they came for.