A week of camp for kids dealing with significant loss

A week of camp for kids dealing with significant loss

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Many of you followed Elijah Aschbrenner's battle with cancer. The longtime #MollysKids made a real impact in our community, inspiring families, kids, NASCAR and the Carolina Panthers. He died last November.

This top picture is Elijah's brother, 9-year-old Sam, drawing himself "a medal of courage".

"I did everything I could to help my brother," Sam told his camp counselors this past week. "So that's why I was able to make a medal of courage for myself."

I think that's darn powerful.

Sam made the medal at a camp called Rainbow Kidz. It's offered one week a year and is free to kids in the community dealing with significant loss. Sam was one of 60 campers this week; more than half of them had lost a parent or sibling. The camp is offered through Hospice of Iredell County.

"We think of ourselves as a place where children play their way to healing," said Leigh Ann Darty, Rainbow Kidz Director. "We work on coping skills and how to live with loss."

Heavy stuff. But what a gift to offer children who sometimes feel like no one understands.

Sam wanted to let everyone know that networking is what he felt comforted by the most this past week.

"I love Camp Rainbow," he said. "I can talk with other kids who have had the same thing happen to them. I can talk about all my memories with Elijah."

Go to www.hoic.org/rainbow_kidz to learn more about Rainbow Kidz. They work solely on donations and Hospice funding.


**This article was originally posted by WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham on her Facebook page.**