Sophisticated sci-tech lab opens at day camp for kids with cancer

Sunrise Day Camp is a unique camp for children with cancer and their siblings. On Monday, it unveiled its very own state-of-the-art S.T.E.A.M. Shack. It'll give campers a high-tech, hands-on experience like no other, allowing them to experiment with robotics, computer coding kits, design, and 3D print virtually anything they can imagine.

"There are a lot of electronics that we can do and there is more space," camper Kayden Romano, 8, said.

The S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) Shack is here today thanks to camp counselor Max Miller and camper Lane Romano.

"I'm not the most athletic person, and I like to learn the code and go on the computers and 3D print things," Romano, 12, said.

Romano was diagnosed with myoepithelial carcinoma, a rare salivary gland tumor, in 2013. Together, he and Miller spearheaded the initiative, hoping to expand camping activities for kids with restricted mobility and physical limitations.

The camp raised more than $600,000 to open the brand-new building. A large chunk of that money came from the Laura Rosenberg Foundation, a nonprofit that supports pediatric cancer research and quality-of-life programs. Other generous donations poured in from across Long Island and New York State.

"Really, what we do is inspire," said David Miller, a Sunrise Association board member. "This building is just going to help us take it to the next level."

Romano, who is now in remission, now gets to watch his idea come to life in good health.

"Everybody is just here to help sick kids," Romano said. "I hope other kids with illnesses and disabilities will have the experience to come to this camp."