STOKESDALE, N.C. — Children with serious health problems can often feel isolated, but for one week out of the year, these children can also become campers.
At Camp Carefree this week, kids diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy are having a traditional summer camp experience. It is a country carnival at the camp, and for 62 campers living with muscular dystrophy, this week they are free to play, laugh and have fun with other kids facing the same struggles.
"Everybody kind of knows what you're going through," said camper Chris Beach.
Throughout the summer, kids with different chronic illnesses or disabilities get a week at camp devoted to them. Yet the experience does not come cheap, averaging about $800 per camper. Yet through many generous donations throughout the country, the cost is free.
On Wednesday, campers enjoyed games, face painting, music and most importantly the chance to feel like a kid, a chance they are not taking for granted.
Camper Chris Beach, 15, said his favorite part has been being able to go in the pool.
"You don't really get to go in the pool very often and they have a chair that goes into the water," said Beach.
Living with muscular dystrophy, a disease with no cure, means muscles gradually waste away leading to a life in a wheelchair and constant visits to the doctor.
"I used to be able to walk. I've experienced that. I mean, that's more than I can say for other people. So I feel pretty fortunate for that," said Beach
"This is only one week out of the year that they get to do that. Once this week is gone the countdown starts for next year,” said counselor Evan Alston.
However for now, this is the time for kids to make friends and know that they are not alone.
Camp Carefree relies solely on private donations. Anyone who would like to help future campers, visit Camp Carefree's website or your local Muscular Dystrophy Association office.