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This California camp is a getaway for children with cancer. Now much of it has gone up in flames

September 11, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

September 10, 2020, California, USA: The Camp Okizu chimneys stand on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, after the summer camp for children with cancer was burned by the Bear Fire. (Credit Image: ? Alie Skowronski/Sacramento Bee via ZUMA Wire)

A camp for pediatric cancer patients and their families is yet another casualty of the wildfires scarring California as the Bear Fire, part of the North Complex, burned through the area.

(CNN)A camp for pediatric cancer patients and their families is yet another casualty of the wildfires scarring California as the Bear Fire, part of the North Complex, burned through the area.

"We are heartbroken to let you know that we were notified today that there has been significant fire damage to our beloved Camp Okizu at Berry Creek," Executive Director Suzie Randall posted on the organization's website.

Camp Okizu hosts about 700 kids each year, along with their siblings and parents, giving them a respite from hospitals and doctor appointments.

Board Member Hanna Malak has been visiting the camp since he was 8, when his older brother had leukemia.

"I just got hooked," he said.

"There's no place like it. " Malak says Okizu creates a traditional camping experience where the kids all know how each other feel.

"It is devastating," Malak said of the destruction.

"We sometimes lose members to cancer and plant trees in their memory," Malak said.

"There are definitely a lot of memories made there, but the magic of Okizu is the people," Malak said.

The threat of Covid-19 among a population of campers with compromised immune systems has left the camp empty during what would otherwise be a busy summer season.

Okizu got creative, making what they call 'Happy Camper Kits' for each family, including ingredients for s'mores, T-shirts, and arts & crafts materials.

They delivered the kits to each family and have been hosting virtual camps online since spring.

"There is nothing we can possibly say except that Okizu is a family, and as in any family, it is the people who matter most.

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