A nurse that goes above and beyond

Amy Haas

It’s been said that nurses are among the most selfless people on the planet. Amy Haas is one of those nurses.

As a critical care nurse on the transport team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Amy faces the daily challenges of helping and healing the smallest and sickest patients.

But that’s not all. Amy is also one of many volunteers who dedicate their precious hours outside work to serve at a regional camp for children with cancer. Camp Heart and Hands is a unique program offered by the nonprofit Jacob’s Heart Childhood Cancer Support Services that provides a three-day summer camp experience to families from King City to Santa Cruz.

As a head counselor for the camp, Amy is in charge of recruiting, training and registering other volunteers over the course of the year, cumulating into the weekend camp, which was held last month. The camp serves about 160 children plus their family members and is staffed by pediatric oncology nurses and physicians, many of whom work at Packard Children’s in Palo Alto. “This is my second year participating in the camp, and it’s special each time, “said Amy. “It’s wonderful to see kids enjoying time outside of the hospital and sharing the experience with their families and other children who are battling cancer.”

Asked why, after spending her days working with sick children, she volunteers at the camp, Amy shared that her own daughter was diagnosed with cancer at 18 months old. “This is a personal cause for me, but also I just get more energy from doing this type of work. It brings hope to everyone involved.”

Children at the camp-style retreat can take advantage of many activities, including swimming and skateboarding and also services like counseling, massage therapy and live music. Best of all, it takes them away from the walls of a hospital room and into a brighter world around them — at least for a little while.

Says Amy, “The camp is therapeutic for everyone.”

For more information, visit http://www.jacobsheart.org/.

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