Stokesdale, NC -- When you think of freedom, especially around 4th of July, you may think freedom of speech, or religion.
But what about the freedom to just be like everybody else.
Children with chronic and life-threatening diseases usually have to be very careful, staying inside, away from germs, and sometimes even other kids.
But that's not the case this week where 35 children, with different types of cancer, are gathered for a week of fun at Camp Carefree.
It was where, this Independence Day, kids had the chance to be "normal."
They've been in and out of hospitals, poked and prodded with needles, battled diseases even adults have a hard time with but their hope and outlook on life -- so early in life -- are what's so inspiring.
On Day 4 of camp, Wednesday, about a dozen of the kids were in the camp's swimming pool. The water. a calm and welcome relief from a day of nothing but play.
"The rock wall and the zip line," said 6-year-old Collin Henry who says he's enjoyed all the activities since coming to camp.
"You get to meet a lot of new people. It's a great place to find friends," Giovanni Torres added.
Friends, who the 10-year-old cancer survivor, may be the only ones who really know what he's been through.
"The first time I came here, I didn't think that anybody would want to play with me," Torres said.
He was diagnosed with cancer when he was just 3-years-old.
"I thought that I would die because most people die from cancer," Torres said through tears.
There are dozens of kids at the camp who've also felt that way at some point.
"It doesn't really feel so good," said Westley McCormick, an 11-year-old who also had cancer. "You don't get to be a real kid. All you do is sit in a hospital bed and do nothing."
"They'll poke me, draw blood, and that's I think that's it," the 6-year-old, Henry, added.
The memory of his 3-year-long battle still bring tears to Torres' eyes.
"I felt a lot of pain when I was in the hospital," he said.
The hospital visits leave no time for them to have fun or act their age.
"I think we provide an environment where the kids feel safe and really happy and are able to truly just be kids," said Jordan Harrell, a camp director. "When they first come to camp, they are really shy and by the end of the week they are singing at the talent show."
Harrell explains that while there, the children don't have to deal with outside problems -- and that makes a huge difference.
Chance Peifer agrees.
"Usually, what [this camp] gives me is the fact that knowing that I can express and talk about what's happened to me and not have to face judgment at school and stuff like that," he said.
McCormick added, "yeah, it's very fun being at Camp Carefree where, a place, you can be free."
Camp carefree is six weeks long. Each week, it's a different set of kids with different disabilities and chronic illnesses.
The camp is free even for those who are in remission from their cancers.