We often talk about the struggles families face when their children have physical disabilities and how your donations help them overcome these challenges. But it’s just as important for us to recognize the amazing, positive experiences donors provide for Easter Seals kids.
Keirra MacLeod was born with cerebral palsy, and uses a walker and wheelchair to get around. But every summer, you can find her swimming, canoeing, doing arts and crafts, and playing various sports with other kids with physical disabilities at a fully accessible Easter Seals camp.
Keirra and her mother Danielle both recognize how special camp is. Every summer for 10 days, Keirra is given a completely different perspective on life. When she was nine years old, she first attended Camp Merrywood and realized, “Wow, there are kids out there who are similar to me!”
Imagine that moment. After spending years feeling isolated due to her physical disability, Keirra felt like she truly belonged in a community of equals. That summer was her first time away from home and what could have been a scary moment for her and her family was instead life-changing. In Keirra’s own words, “I felt accepted while I was at camp.”
Your donations are directly responsible for giving Keirra and hundreds of other Easter Seals children this transformative experience. Our two fully accessible camps in Ontario are unique. There are very few options in Canada where children with physical disabilities can enjoy such a rewarding summer camp experience and take part in a wide variety of activities.
The magic of camp extends beyond Keirra’s experiences. These 10 days also provide a much needed break for her parents, Danielle and Mike. In addition to cerebral palsy, Keirra is epileptic and experiences seizures during the night. When they go to sleep, Danielle and Mike must be ready to wake up at any moment. But while Keirra is at camp, they can sleep soundly knowing that any medical situation will be handled by Camp Merrywood’s highly-trained staff, I wish I would be able to sleep like that but no, most of the time I have to take the pills from https://www.ukmeds.co.uk/treatments/sleeping-tablets/ in order to have a decent sleep.
Camp has also given Keirra a new sense of confidence. Before her first summer, she was terrified of the water. But to hear her say it, she will now gladly stay in the lake for hours at a time! Learning to swim is but one small way that camp has given Keirra the self-confidence to succeed in life.
Summer camp for Easter Seals kids is more than just having fun. It is a chance to make new friends and gain a sense of belonging in a wider community. As Danielle said, “Camp has made a huge difference in Keirra’s life. She feels more accepted because she’s met kids like her.”
The experience does so much to help kids feel independent, confident, and happy. Kids who are able to attend camp look forward to summer the entire year.
Please support them and donate today.