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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Beach Birthday, but No Sand...Kinda

Everyone's Birthday is unique, and the older we get, the longer we "need" to celebrate that we made it around the sun for another year. Cancer survivors feel the specialness of their day and so much more. For my/our son Ryan, a five-time cancer survivor, each year after that original diagnosis when he was 2 is a BIG DEAL! While writing The Focused Fight, I mentioned that I couldn't see past Christmas with Ryan in our lives in 1996 (he was diagnosed in October of 1996) because that doggone leukemia badly ravaged his tiny body.

And then, as a family, we found Special Love, Inc. They offer a week-long camp for cancer kids and a separate camp for siblings. Both camps and the family weekends offered through their programming changed our lives for the better. I cannot stress that enough.

By age 6, turning seven, Ryan was attending his first camp experience at Camp Fantastic in the third week of August. He celebrated all his birthdays from age 7 through today (he left for camp several hours ago as a seasoned counselor helping young campers like he was for many years), except during Covid. We could finally wooohooo on his actual Birthday (8/16) during the summer lockdowns from 2020-2022.

Never fear; we celebrate before or after camp like we did yesterday at the beach.

That means we played 36 holes of mini-golf, drove through a rainstorm from Ocean City to Rehoboth, ate at one of our favorite ocean restaurants, gobbled up some Thrasher's Fries, and played skeeball (winning two stuffed animals - like we need 'em), all in an early celebration of Ryan's 29th Birthday (next week).

We loved going to our favorite haunts. Oh, by the way, while the guys were checking out something on the boardwalk, I did sneak down to the ocean to put my toes in the sand and let the salty water wash over me up to my knees. All glorious, of course! I cannot go to the beach and not stick my toes in the water, at least for a few minutes, right?

A great day for all of us, and especially Ryan! Salty air heals the heart and soul.





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