A Winning Week at Camp Sunshine

Camp SunshineThanks to our generous donors, we were again able to send 40 kids with lupus and their families for a week at Camp Sunshine -- where kids get to be like all the other kids, playing under medical supervision, and along with their families find they are not alone with lupus.

This year, we were able to bring extra inspiration in the form of NBA rookie Dwayne Davis. The 23-year old lost his mom to lupus when he was just 13 and had little time for fun caring for his young siblings. Along with teaching campers some basketball skills, Dwayne also imparted important life lessons – to keep going after your dreams no matter what. We vote Dwayne MVP on Team Life Without Lupus!

What this one week out of 52 means is best expressed by the kids, their siblings, their parents and the staff who make it all happen!

The Kids
Camp SunshineCamp Sunshine is an amazing place where kids can go to forget about all of their medical troubles and be happy alongside other kids who understand the day-to-day struggles of living with lupus.

I want to give back to others what was given to me and my family. This week I was able to help out two new members. I was very proud of being able to give these two young girls the same age as me support. Because in lupus week, there is no such thing as leaving someone out.

Camp Sunshine is the place where you feel like you are at home, where all hope that was gone is found again, where you can reach out to someone because that someone will be there waiting to support you. This is the place where we show emotion, where we all cry, laugh, smile together, where there is no such thing as hate and disrespect. It’s all about love, care and support. 

Camp SunshineEverybody makes you feel like family and there's other people here who are just like you, and they, like, bring your self-esteem up and you just feel better with them and, it's fun.

I came back because I get a lot of support here and it's very fun to meet new people that go through the same stuff I do, and I know that they have to take a lot of medicines just like I do, so, I support them, too.

Sometimes people think that you're lying when you have pain or something, 'cause they think you don't want to do something. Some people don't understand what you're going through. It makes me feel like I'm not alone; there's always someone in the world that will understand me.

Thanks for letting me share time with kids like me who have siblings with lupus. This helped me understand and support my big sister.

The Parents
TCamp Sunshinehank you for showing Danielle that she’s not alone.

Meeting college kids with lupus shows us that a person can grow and thrive after such a devastating diagnosis. Camp Sunshine gave us hope for a future.  
Coming to Camp has allowed us to get our batteries recharged. We have seen Jasmine’s confidence grow this week and have seen her truly relax and have fun! This is an amazing gift to our family.

The Staff
Camp SunshineIf you're living through something and you feel like you're alone and you find somebody else who's going through the same thing, then you immediately kind of know each other.  So to get30 or 40 families together, there's just this synergy that happens and very quickly and when they talk about the magic of Camp Sunshine but that's exactly what it is.

It's astounding how much these connections enables each member of the family to get something to help them through, through the rest of the year, and how much they then look forward to coming back the next year.

Camp SunshineOne of the things that happens with lupus is that you feel alone in the world, you feel isolated, you feel like you can't do what other people do. So, it's really important when you get here, you don't feel isolated, you feel connected and you feel like there are a million activities you can do, because everybody around you is doing them at the pace that you can do them at.

We thank all our donors for the contributions that made this week possible, particularly The Joseph LeRoy and Ann C. Warner Fund, Inc., and ask for your continued support towards affording more children and families the same opportunity next summer.

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