My Camp story began thirteen years ago in 2006, when my family attended a Family Weekend after my brother Austin was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After that first weekend I was hooked. I attended sibling sessions, was a Hero’s Journey participant, and participated in the LIT 1 & LIT 2 programs. When I was a camper, my counselors were my biggest role models and the people I looked up to. I was somewhat of a shy kid, and aspired to one day work at Camp, like them, and be that person for kids like my brother and me.
Johnny was 8 years old. His request for me to read a letter from his mom and sister forever changed my life.
It was 1988, and Johnny was a camper from my second session. He had sickle cell disease, and throughout the session, I witnessed the ever-present suffering that a child with sickle cell disease experiences – the chronic aches and acute spikes of pain, the resulting falling behind and reluctance to fully participate in activities, and the shame associated with wetting your bed night after night because of the relentless necessity to push fluids.