SYSK: Lone Tree couple hosts hemophilia camp - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Lone Tree couple hosts hemophilia camp


A Lone Tree couple has opened their home to campers for almost 30 years.

Each year, Camp Tanager hosts a Hemophilia Camp. It's the only camp of its type in the state of Iowa, and each year Darrel and Carolyn Bell open up their home to the campers.

"It's just rewarding to us to see the kids," Carolyn Bell said.

It all started with the Bells' grandson, Brian. At age four, he was diagnosed with leukemia. He, then, suffered a brain tumor at age 12. Doctors had to removed one-third of his brain.

"He's still with us and he's here today. So we're just very blessed and thankful and this is just a little bit of pay back we do each year," said Carolyn Bell.

Brian is 39 and getting married in September. Many years ago, he helped get this special day going by asking to bring friends out to his grandparent's home.

The Bells decided inviting more children was a great way to give back to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

"We want to give to the doctors. They were fantastic," Darrel Bell said.

This year, about 40 campers and their guests enjoyed fishing, kayaking, swimming and other activities at the Bells' home.

"I know they enjoy it," said Carolyn Bell.

And if opening their home wasn't enough, the Bells also provide lunch to the campers! The campers spend about five hours there.

Nurses and doctors are on hand just in case, but during this day, hemophilia isn't slowing these kids down.

"If everybody gave something back. It'd be a lot better world," Darrel Bell said.

The Camp Tanager Hemophilia Camp takes place each year in mid-June.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

Powered by Frankly