LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Kids battling life-threatening illnesses are having the time of their lives this week at Camp Cartwheel. It’s a week-long camp, held just on the outskirts of Las Vegas in Lovely Canyon at Torino Ranch.
Abigail Coeto has been counting down the days to Camp Cartwheel. This summer marks her seventh year swimming, singing, crafting, and being one with nature with other kids just like her.
“I love this place with all my heart,” Coeto said. “There are a lot of bonds between campers and counselors, nurses, and campers, and everyone just bonds and forgets all their worries, a space where everyone just feels like they belong.”
Coeto is a cancer survivor, entering ninth grade in the fall. She and hundreds of other kids can spend a week at this unique and special place for free, thanks to the many donations provided by the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation.
“Throughout the year we help parents financially. We see these kids throughout the year at tougher times. But the best time is at Camp Cartwheel with the kids running up to you and giving you hugs, my heart is still full and beating fast. It gives them something to look forward to as they’re battling these illnesses. There’s not a lot to look forward to for them, but knowing Camp Cartwheel is coming helps so much,” President and CEO, Jeff Gordon said
The love and comradery were evident at the beautiful ranch donated, by Brett Torino who discovered the area while he was hiking 35 years ago. He fell in love with the property and helped transform the space.
Every summer it fills with more than 150 volunteers with the same number of kids, turning the place into a labor of love.
Coeto said when she’s eligible, she plans to return as a volunteer or lifeguard to give back to the camp that has given her so much. Camp Cartwheel also is celebrating its 30 anniversary.