FAIRFIELD, Idaho — What is life like for a retired NFL quarterback? For 15-year veteran Carson Palmer, look no further than Sun Valley, Idaho.
"I came to Idaho a bunch as a kid and just fell in love with the outdoors. I love to fish, hunt and just be outside - period," Palmer said. "This was the right place to raise our family."
Raising the kids, however, didn't come without heartache. Palmer's youngest of four children spent more than his fair share of time at the St. Luke's Children's Hospital in Boise.
Palmer feared the worst.
"My son had been sick a bunch, we were trying to figure out what was going on," Palmer said. "Thankfully it turned out to be not cancer. We thought we were headed for the c-word with him, and just getting ready to tackle that."
More positives arose from the process beyond the results; the doctor referred the family toward Camp Rainbow Gold - officially placing the non-profit on the signal-caller's radar.
Camp Rainbow Gold provides a regular summer-camp experience for sick children who live irregular lives. These kids are often battling cancer from a hospital bed and miss out on regular childhood experiences because of it.
Their work peaked Palmer's interest.
"[Camp Rainbow Gold] is just a really special place," Palmer said. "I spent a lot of time at Phoenix Children's Hospital when I was playing there. I'd play games on Sundays then go visit kids on Mondays and Tuesdays - my off days. I've seen firsthand how difficult that is on the families that are living in those hospitals with these kids."
The 2002 Heisman Trophy winner said he is humbled and excited to play a role with the organization.
Camp Rainbow Gold aims to raise $7 million dollars to complete the needed projects at their new 172-acre campsite just outside Fairfield, Idaho.
"It's not a one-year deal. This is something that is gonna go on and funds will be generated and raised for years and years, because Camp Rainbow Gold is a special place and it can get even better," Palmer said.
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