Kasey was born with Spina Bifida, a disorder that affects spinal column and organ development before birth and can cause permanent damage. As a result, Kasey is paralyzed below his knees. In his preschool years, he was in and out of doctors’ offices often, but now he only has therapy twice a week after school. Kasey is 10 years old and will need to a wheelchair to get around for the rest of his life.
But that doesn’t slow Kasey down one bit. He loves Camp Boggy Creek and just attended his fifth Family Weekend Retreat here with his mother. He takes part in all the activities. His favorite is playing basketball in the Camp gym. Kasey said, “I’ve made some good friends at Camp. We play basketball together there and now we play in Paralympic events around FL together, too.”
Kasey’s mom loves coming to Family Retreat Weekends, too. She shared, “It’s the one place I can go to relax and not have to worry about what Kasey is doing. I can spend time with other parents and we all share what we’re going through. I have learned a lot from them and this time I was able to help a couple parents with my experiences. That felt great!”
Kasey plans to attend a Summer Session this year if all continues to go well. It will be his first one and his first week away from home on his own. He is looking forward to swimming at Camp this summer, as it is usually too cold to swim on Family Retreat Weekends. Kasey says, “Boggy Creek feels like home. Everyone is so nice and make all of us feel special. This camp inspires me to be confident.” Thanks to your support, Kasey and hundreds of other children are learning to believe in themselves while having the time of their lives!
Carissa and Cayla share more than just family – both have severe asthma. Carissa was diagnosed when she was 18 months old and Cayla at three years old. Both are on medication and must have an inhaler with them at all times. While asthma can vary from day to day, when their breathing becomes really impaired, the girls have to go right to the hospital. Between them, they have had more than a dozen hospital visits in the past few years along with countless trips to the doctor’s office.
In addition to asthma, Carissa also developed myopathy three years ago. Often, Carissa’s legs are so weak that she has to use a wheelchair to get around. Between the two illnesses, Carissa is frequently unable to attend school or participate in many activities with friends.
Both Carissa and Cayla love Camp Boggy Creek because the campers and counselors understand their challenges and encourage them to take part in every activity. They don’t have to worry about their illnesses getting in the way of having fun. Since both are creative, the sisters always have a great time at the woodshop and in arts and crafts. Carissa and Cayla have made new friends and lots of memories. They have also learned how to turn their fears into challenges that can be overcome with the help of friends!
Nick was having a fairly normal childhood until he was diagnosed with a sPNET brain tumor in 2011. He was seven at the time and had to undergo multiple surgeries followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments. After 10 months, doctors thought they had Nick in remission. The tumor, however, returned in less than a year requiring further radiation and other treatments.
This type of cancer is very rare and the survival rate for children who have it return is less than 10%. He has been in a clinical trial program for the past 18 months and is doing exceptionally well. All the radiation has given him permanent hair loss, digestion issues, difficulty with short-term memory and removed his ability to sweat, forcing him to wear ice packs every time he is outdoors for any length of time.
While it has been difficult for his parents to let him leave home to attend Camp for a week every summer, they know how much it means to Nick. He is so excited to arrive and see his camp friends and counselors. He gets to just have fun for a week and not think about the limitations caused from his illness. “My favorite activities are woodshop and fishing,” said Nick. “I like that I can be a superhero when I’m at Boggy.” Nick returns home from Camp every time full of energy with his spirits lifted.
Nick has already surprised his doctors, family and friends by how well he is overcoming his illness. He is beating the odds and his doctors are hopeful that his condition will continue to improve in the future. In the meantime, having the opportunity to attend Camp every year gives him something to look forward to as he continues to undergo all his tests and treatments. He is one of hundreds of children every year who can’t wait to get to Camp and just have fun!
Camp Boggy Creek – A Proud Charity of IMSA
-Camp Boggy Creek is honored to be a Proud Charity of the International Motor Sports Association.
A Volunteer’s Life Changing Story About Camp
-Volunteering at Camp will change someone else’s life for the better.
10 Reasons to Give
-First the first time I was accepted as who I am.
The Tanners’ Experience at Camp Boggy Creek
-Life changing experiences for Evie, 6, and her family.
Biking to Boggy
-Young woman biked 880 miles to raise money for Camp Boggy Creek.
"Thank you to my pal and all the families that helped me forget about my illness and put a smile on my face!!"