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.
Going into our offsite Family Weekend, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was our first time facilitating a residential program away from the confines of our facility in Ashford, and we were working with a population with which we had little experience. What we knew was we had to bring the essence of Camp with us and recreate the magic to allow “a different kind of healing” to take place.