This year’s beneficiary is the Ludington Optimist Club Childhood Cancer Campaign. We are honored, humbled, and so very excited to have this opportunity to raise funds for our organization and help bring the community together—in person once again—for this year’s lake jump.
This year marks the 23rd anniversary of the Ludington Lake Jump, and what better date than April 23, 2022?
We hope you will join with us on this kookie adventure to jump in the frigid waters of Lake Michigan in the early spring to show your support for families in the Mason County area who have a child with a cancer diagnosis. It’s a fun event for a serious cause.
When parents find out their child has cancer, it’s devastating. It sets in motion a whole new world filled with fear, constant anxiety, hopelessness, but also joy, gratitude, and appreciation. It’s the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, sometimes all in the same day or even within the same hour. If the family has two parents who live together and they both work, one of them usually ends up having to take a leave of absence or quitting their job. There is always a struggle between giving the child with the diagnosis the support they need but also being there in a consistent way for siblings. In single-parent families, there are additional challenges and other extended family members usually need to be called upon to help. But no matter the circumstances, a child’s cancer diagnosis is life changing. In the blink of an eye, the family’s life is forever different.
The Childhood Cancer Campaign was started in 2004 as a support system for families who have a child diagnosed with cancer. Our goal is to provide monetary support and emotional support to these families. We do that by meeting with the family initially and asking the question, “What do you need right now?” Many times, in the early days of a diagnosis, families don’t know what they need and have a hard time answering the question. So we ask them to identify their needs in the moment……what do you need, right now? We provide gas cards for travel to out-of-town appointments and hospitalizations, groceries, help with car maintenance costs, utility payments, rent and mortgage payments, Christmas and birthday gifts, and any other items the family identifies as a need. We also talk to the parents and let them know that we care about them, we are here for them, and that we will be with them through the entire journey if they want us to be.
Families who live in our area are our friends and neighbors. Often, we know them, but even if we don’t, we get to know them very well. We always say that the Childhood Cancer Campaign belongs to everybody in the community. It really takes everyone coming together in lots of small and big ways to help make a difference when it is most needed. We have been blessed with widespread support across the community and it has always been our dream to set up the Childhood Cancer Campaign so that any family who has a child diagnosed with cancer in and around Mason County will be taken care of, now and in perpetuity into the future. Our community has an incredible opportunity to help us create this legacy. Will you join us?