Camp Happy Days bringing joy to kids and counselors

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Fighting cancer changes lives and so does Camp Happy Days.

For the camp counselors that volunteer their time and hearts while serving kids with the disease it's a labor of love.

"To see these kids go through and struggle at such a young age and still smile and love life the way they do it lets me know there is noting that can keep you down," said camp counselor Justin Bibee.

Bibee is one of more than 150 counselors at Camp Happy Days. Bibee is a marine currently stationed in Japan and six years ago a fellow marine invited him to volunteer with the camp.

"That first year I came down here and I experienced it and magic happened and I have been hooked and it changed my life and I am going to come back as long as I'm able,"Bibee said.

The camp counselors stick with the child they're assigned to for the entire week. For the last four years Bibee has been assigned to a teen named Alontae.

"He is like my little brother now so every time I see him it's like coming back to family,"Bibee said.

Camp hits close to home for Counselor Deborah Browning. Browning was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 4. As a child, Deborah along with her brothers participated in the camp.

"Camp became a part of our lives just like we have our birthday every year, camp was that part of our lives that we look forward to,"Browning said.

Deborah has been cancer free for more than 26 years and says its her mission to give back to the very organization that gave them so much as kids.

"Its great to make it fun and forget about the tough side and celebrate who we are,"Browning said.

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