Our Story

The Need

According to the National Cancer Center, there are 9,600 cancer cases a year in Singapore that affect individuals and their families. The grown-ups have various sources of support, but the special emotional needs of children of adult cancer patients are often overlooked. Simply put, kids are often left to deal with these personal tragedies on their own; and if parents themselves are struggling to cope with illness, their sons and daughters frequently miss out on the simple joys of childhood.



Giving Kids the Opportunity to Be Kids

Modelled after Camp Kesem in the United States, our retreat aims to give children affected by a parent’s cancer the opportunity to just be kids. Our retreat community will engage in activities like arts and crafts, beach games and a scavenger hunt around the island to give participants three fun-filled days. Participants also have plenty of opportunities to chat with fellow participants and facilitators, giving each child the chance to share their experiences with one another. There will be plenty of laughs and lots of support, but we do not provide therapy. We hope that the tremendous fun and support participants experience will make the retreat a transformative, magical experience for everyone.


First Collaboration Between YLLSoM and Duke-NUS

In late 2008, student leaders from Duke-NUS Medical School and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine met to discuss a collaborative effort on organizing a weekend camp for children of cancer patients. The idea had been put forward by a Duke-NUS student, whom during her undergraduate days in the United States, had learned about Camp Kesem, a similar camp organized by students in Duke University, Stanford University, UCLA, MIT and many other colleges. After discussions with HCA Hospice Care, it was decided that Camp Simba will be a component of HCA’s annual support program for the children of their patients. Camp Simba is now also an annual part of Singhealth's support program for the children of their patients.

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