LAKE TRAVIS (KXAN) - Children diagnosed with cancer often end up spending long days in the hospital, with little time to play outside. One organization is trying to break that cycle, at least for a few days.
The Sunshine Kids camp works to lift the spirits of young people as they fight a common enemy.
"They were saying that you have a rare disease called osteosarcoma, and I like wait, what's that?" said Kahron Santos, a 15-year-old fighting a form of bone cancer.
Santos remembers hearing those words like it was yesterday. Now, three years after intense treatments, he says a few days on the lake is just what the doctor ordered.
"Pretty amazing, got a giant lake here, hopefully go fishing and go on the boat," said Santos as he looked forward to the week's stay.
Others said it's a nice opportunity to get away from all the stress.
"It's been so cool to just hang out with other kids like me," said Lizzie Tennyson from Wimberley. "We don't have to talk about cancer, we can just talk like normal teenagers having fun."
Organizers say time outdoors with others like them is good therapy.
"One of the kids said, 'I just realized that I'm normal,' and everybody looked and said of course you're normal, why wouldn't you be normal?" said Jennifer Wisler with the Sunshine Kids Foundation.
"'Well I just realized that these kids have cancer too, I"m not alone in this fight,'" Wisler said, relaying what the kid had said.
Travis County Sheriff's deputies and area fire and EMS staff helped make a day special too with helicopter shows and appearances from police dogs.
"The deputies just love it," said Chief Deputy Jim Sylvester with the Travis County Sheriff's Office. "They're always asking, 'when's this even coming up, I wanna be there, don't forget about me."
The kids may admire these first responders for their bravery, not realizing their the ones actually lifting everyone's spirits.
The Sunshine Kids foundation has held its annual Teen Lake Escapade for 23 years.
Nearly 90 children, from infant to age 18, are diagnosed with cancer each year in Central Texas. Dell Children's Medical Center handles 450 visits each month from children needing cancer care.
The University of Texas Board of Regents adjourned Thursday without taking action on the job status of embattled UT President Bill Powers.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown talked with reporters Thursday for the first time since reports surfaced this week that he could be stepping down.
After two hours of discussion regarding the final design for Auditorium Shores, the Austin City Council decided to approve the design on a vote of 7-0 with amendments.
Despite what seemed like a surge of controversies, the Austin Aquarium opened its doors to members Thursday for a private pre-entry showing.
One person was killed Thursday in a rollover crash near Cedar Creek, the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office said.
A 15-year-old girl told police she was abducted from the parking lot at Bastrop High School on Wednesday.