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Weekend Program Stories & Experiences

The Best Weekend of Our Lives

I could not let this week go by without writing this letter to you and your staff to thank all of you for giving me and my family the best weekend of our lives, which also happened to be the first time we were all together, except for my three-month old baby, at the same time having nothing but pure fun.

I used to think that unless someone has a child, in my case two, with sickle cell anemia, he/she would never understand what I personally go through with every crisis, every hospitalization and every phone call from school for an unplanned pick-up. This past weekend that you and a staff of the best people who I have ever met and encountered in my life just gave me and my family, proved me wrong. There are people out there who not only know, but also understand what parents like me go through and are doing their best to lessen our burdens and stress.

Camp mom Margela

Refreshing for the Soul

My son Colin has Systemic Mastocytosis, a life-changing disease that affects him every moment of his life. He faces each day with a smile even though most of the time he is hurting inside. He knows he is different then all the other kids around him, yet he still believes that someday he will wake up and be free of Mastocytosis. He is a brave little boy. But he is different, and he knows that.

Our experience at Camp was so refreshing for the soul. He smiled. He was not the only one who was different. He for the first time in his life was the majority, not the minority. He laughed and played, and did all the things a little boy his age should do. He got to go fishing for the first time ever, and let me tell you, he can cast really far. He shot an arrow for the first time, never hit the bulls eye, but for him that didn’t matter. A couple of times I though I would never get him out of the gym. We did crafts and built bookshelves. For the first time in years, we enjoyed all being together and plans didn’t have to be made around Colin’s disease; we came first!

I cannot even begin to tell you what an impact the weekend made on my daughter, Arianah. I think the first year of Colin's life I spent most of my time either in the doctor's office or in the hospital with him. Arianah and I lost our bond, she became resentful of me. She stopped hugging and cuddling, she became her own little independent person and by the time Colin was two or three, it was too late to get the time back, the time I had lost with her. Camp was amazing for her and I got the chance to be with her, do the arts and crafts with her. I actually got the opportunity to know my daughter a little bit better than I did before we came. She allowed me in. I received tons of hugs and for that I will be forever grateful.

I could go on and on, but I think what I want to make sure you, and everyone else at Camp knows is that you gave our family so much more than just a wonderful weekend – you renewed Colin’s spirit, you touched my heart, and you allowed a mother to finally have some time with her beautiful daughter.

Camper mom Rebekah