Children with muscular dystrophy gain independence at camp

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 4:21pm

MERIDIAN -- It's said from the outside looking in, you don't understand it, and from the inside looking out, you can't explain it. But the smiles and laughter sure help bridge that gap.

"We've heard this a million times but the kids love camp more than Christmas," Angela Presley, Healthcare Service Coordinator with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.   

Ninty children from Texas, all with muscular dystrophy, were dropped off at Camp John Marc in Meridian on Sunday for a week of activities someone with MD wouldn't have dreamed of, and with kids that are just like them.

"You're just here with all the people that understand and you get to be who you are," Ariel Wilson, 15, a two year camper said.

"This really just gives them the opportunity to come to a place where they're like everybody else, where they can do all the activities," Presley said.

"I can do everything that I love here," Amie Weaver, 7, a two year camper said.

From ropes course to swimming to horse back riding, it's a week of making the impossible, possible.

"It's a big, big achievement, because normally you wouldn't get to do it, but here they give you the stuff so you can and it's so fun," Wilson said.

The MDA staff all have stories that have touched their lives.

"'I want to go swimming, like that's what I want to do.' and he was like, 'because I can walk when i'm in the water.' it was just so cool and just so eye opening," Presley said.  

Sending any child to overnight camp is a leap of faith...

"Now I'm not scared anymore because last year I was scared but now I'm not scared," Logan Elder, 7, a second year camper said.

But what's gained is the power of choice.

"A sense of independence, here they can pick their activities, they can make choices, the can decide where they want to go a what they want to do," Presley said.  

Which is a liberty they say, many times is limited anywhere else.


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