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It's Like Heaven

Stories from Camp Sunshine

Dorothy H. Jordan, Kirby Smart (Foreword by), Karl Smart (Foreword by)


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In 1982 Dorothy H. Jordan founded Camp Sunshine to provide children with cancer a safe, normal childhood experience, to show them that others share their challenges, and to help them find community and support. In 1983 approximately forty campers between the ages of seven and eighteen attended the first summer camp, held in the north Georgia mountains. Thirty-five years later, more than four hundred campers attended the 2018 summer camp, and several hundred more children and family members participated in more than 150 additional recreational, educational, and supportive Camp Sunshine programs held throughout the year in metro Atlanta, Savannah, and other areas of Georgia.

Today Camp Sunshine, a nonprofit organization, has hundreds of dedicated volunteers who help the leadership staff of the camp with its multiple year-round programs, as well as pediatric oncology nurses and other medical professionals who take care of the campers' medical needs while they attend those programs.

It's Like Heaven documents the story of the first thirty-five years of Camp Sunshine through the voices of campers, their nurses, counselors, and other volunteers. Each chapter is a former camper's first-person story about childhood cancer and the Camp Sunshine journey, followed by reflections on the camper's experience by the camper's nurse or another member of the camp community, creating a unique narrative of each camper's struggle and path toward healing. Every story includes photos of both the camper and the camper's mentor as well as several photos that illustrate the connections, bonds, and strength of community created through Camp Sunshine.

University of Georgia Press, 9780820357690, 200pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2020

About the Author

DOROTHY H. JORDAN is the founder of Camp Sunshine. She is also an assistant clinical professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University and the executive director of the J. Rex Fuqua Adolescent Campus of Skyland Trail.