HONOLULU (KHON) — Some people are still struggling with social distancing and mask mandates amid the ongoing COVID pandemic.

But those diagnosed with cancer understand restrictions all too well.

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“If people think that it has been taxing for their healthy children, we really urge them to consider what our kids are going through,” said B.K. Cannon, Camp Anuenue president and co-director.

“When you’re not in a pandemic, you’re isolated to stay healthy, and you have all these restrictions. Now being in a pandemic, it’s extra scary. You’re way more vulnerable,” Alison James, Camp Anuenue vice president and co-director, said.

Cannon and James are both co-directors for Camp Anuenue. Based on Oahu’s North Shore, the camp is for Hawaii keiki with cancer.

“Children are going to need mental and emotional support long after treatments over. And that’s our goal with campus to provide that community for kids, where not only can they come and have a fun week of camp where they don’t have to think about the hospital and medicine, but they can be around other kids who understand their experience,” explained Cannon.

All volunteers are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“For us, the value of getting vaccinated and wearing a mask is protecting our children. It’s protecting the kids that cannot fight off this disease,” said James.

The camp relies on donations to keep afloat. To help offset costs, camp volunteers are selling face masks. Each unisex mask costs $20 and are made of triple-ply cotton.

“The mask says ‘Mask up, it’s our kuleana.’ That’s our main message. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep each other safe,” Cannon said.

Get more coronavirus news: COVID vaccines, boosters and Safe Travels information

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