Nonprofit holds OC surf camp for kids with life-threatening illnesses, changing families' lives

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- An Orange County surf camp for kids with life-threatening illnesses is providing children a welcome relief from constant trips to the doctor.

Nearly two dozen children battling life-threatening illnesses are getting the chance to let go one wave at a time as Miracles for Kids and Waves of Impact teamed up for their 10th annual Surf and Paddle camp for critically-ill children and families in need.

Both organizations, which are registered 501 (c) non-profits, rely on donations to help families with housing, bills, food and clothing as they navigate their difficultly journeys.

Berenice Canepa, 5, who is just one of nearly two dozen camp participants, has gone through four surgeries due to congenital heart disease.

That didn't allow Berenice a chance to fulfill her wish to learn to swim.

Mayte Canepa, Berenice's mother, said she is grateful for the financial help the nonprofit offers.

"Every donation that comes in whether it's a toothbrush toothpaste a pair of socks some extra clothing or dollars to help put food on the table all of it is needed at miracles for kids," said Autumn Strier, Miracles for Kids co-founder and CEO.

Maria Godoy's son was born with a rare blood disorder. A bone marrow transplant from his younger sister helped turn things around, but not before robbing him of many childhood memories.

"Not having to worry about what time his medication is next, not having to worry about what doctor appointment is coming up, so it's just a relief for him to be out here and just to continue to be a kid," said Godoy.

The nonprofit helps 350 families throughout Southern California annually and anyone wanting to lend a hand can visit:

MORE | Local group aims to fight racism by providing free surf lessons
EMBED More News Videos

The founders of Color the Water say the organization's mission is to fight racism by providing free surf lessons year-round to Black and indigenous people of color.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.