Special Love Is:
- a nonprofit organization that provides cancer families a network of support, made up of other patients and families who know and understand the trials and triumphs of the cancer experience.
- the result of Tom and Sheila Baker's desire to establish a support group for children with cancer and to honor their daughter who lost her battle against the deadly disease. In 1983, the Bakers began their organization with a week of summer fun called Camp Fantastic which has grown into a year full of events, with over 15 week and weekend retreats and special outings.
- dependent on private donations. Donations are tax-deductible and can be in the form of program sponsorships or camper scholarships.
Special Love Means:
- children with cancer have an organization that strives to bring them together with other children like them for fellowship, friendship and fun.
- families of children with cancer have an ally during and after the cancer experience. Each family member is included in programs—family weekends give mom and dad a chance to share with other adults, siblings have a program called BRASS (BRothers And SiSters of children with cancer) that gives them the attention and opportunity to make their own friends.
- hospitals have a place to refer the families of children with cancer. The communication between the patient, doctors, family and Special Love staff assures the sick child's best interests are well represented and everyone has an understanding of the child's needs.
IREM has donated $500,000 since the inception of the Gala in 2006.