Jake Aschenbrenner and his little sister Jenna are going back to Camp CARE later this month, as they have for the past three summers.
The camp is for children who had -- or have -- cancer. At 21 months, Jenna (at the left of the wagon) was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, cancer of the eye. She went through Chemotherapy and lost her right eye.
"It is such a wonderful opportunity for not only the camper, but also the sibling who typically gets completely forgotten when a child gets cancer," said Jake's mother, Karen. "... When children go through cancer it is life-changing -- who they are changes. Jenna was in and out of the hospital getting scanned, poked with needles and being sedated for different procedures ... Camp CARE provides a place for these kids to go to camp."
Here's where 10-year-old Jake (pulling the wagon), a rising 5th grader at Providence Spring Elementary, became sort of a modern-day Tom Sawyer. After last summer's camp, he kept thinking about the 70-foot water slide and how all the fun at Camp CARE helped kids forget they were sick.
He wanted to give back. Spotting boxes of Camp CARE water bottles in the garage, he told his parents he was going to go door-to-door around his southeast Charlotte neighborhood and sell the bottles. He set a lofty goal: To raise $1,000.
He borrowed a red wagon from a neighbor, loaded up the bottles and off he and Jenna went. Along the way, friends asked him what he was doing. He told them: "OK, guys, you know my sister had cancer and she goes to this really cool camp. I want to give back so this camp can help other kids with cancer. So I'm selling these bottles. You wanna help?"