LONG BRANCH, N.J. (PIX11) – To be a kid in the summer defines happiness, something kids fighting chronic illness deserve more of.

It was three years ago, 17-year-old Shoshana Youshaei, originally from Boston, joined Camp Simcha after being diagnosed with cancer.

“Thank God I finished within a year,” said Youshaei, “and this is my second year in remission, actually.”

The group that runs Camp Simcha Without BordersChai Lifeline, supports children battling serious conditions like cancer and their families. Its summer carnival, hosted by a volunteer homeowner in Long Branch, took over a hundred kids from the tri-state area out of hospital rooms and doctors’ offices and into a world of fun.

“It’s really nice to come back and see my friends who are also in the same stage as me, or see my friends that just got diagnosed and be able to relate to them on different levels that you don’t relate to normal people on,” said Youshaei.

“Being with kids that also go through situations like this… is so empowering to all of us,” said 17-year-old Rivka Shotkin, a Passaic native who was left paralyzed by a skiing accident two years ago. “You see that it’s okay. All of them are so happy and smiling, having a good time, and it’s just a reminder that you’re not the only one. You have your community, your people.”

“I’ve been doing this for 15 years, and it never gets old,” said Rivka Gordon of Chai Lifeline. “It’s amazing to see the campers reuniting with their friends again. It’s as if they have no worries, no cares, there’s no differences, there’s no boundaries, there’s no limitations. They’re like every other kid who has friends and just gets to experience a fun day with their friends, and it’s amazing to see.”

“Sometimes you have to give to get,” said Jack Tabbush of Chai Lifeline, “and in this case, we get more from the children attending today than we get from today we give. They give us the energy, the courage to continue going as they exemplify the wonderful things that they do, coming, showing up to the day and having a great time, putting their sickness aside.”