Sickle Cell Camp 2016- My First Experience

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When I first learned that I was going to Sickle Cell Camp with my sister. I was very nervous and scared. I was nervous because I didn’t know anybody who was going to attend the same camp except for my sister. And I didn’t know what to expect. I had mixed feelings and as the camp day approached I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. My parents encouraged me and assured me that based on what they had gathered; I was in for surprising fun.

 

Once at camp, I quickly found out I didn’t have a reason to be scared because everyone including the doctors, nurses and counselors were welcoming, I learned that camp is a community of kids that bravely fight each day and have refused to be defined by Sickle Cell Disease. It is a camp of warriors! Meeting other kids and families, gave me comfort in knowing that my sister is not alone in her struggle with sickle cell disease.

 

On the first day of camp I met new people, and quickly became friends. I loved participating with my newly found friends in activities like archery, bowing, arts and craft, and nightly cabin wars to win a trophy. My cabin members won the trophy on the first night but later lost it to the younger girls’ cabin. It was such fun loosing to young girls. I liked the idea that the camp and the activities helped to distract the children with sickle cell disease from thinking about their struggles and enjoy life like healthy kids would. I loved seeing my sister having fun and fully enjoying herself while great doctors and nurses kept their watch. My sister and I wish that camp could last longer.

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The education class about Sickle Cell Disease was one of my most important activities of the camp. Although I had some knowledge about sickle cell, the class helped me to understand this disease and I felt better equipped to help my little sister who is affected by Sickle Cell. I was so grateful to attend sickle camp because I had a lot of fun and I made lots friends and learned a lot. The last day of Camp was a very sad day for me because I had to say goodbye to all my friends and counselors. If I had my way, I would extend Camp for a week. Sickle Cell Camp was the highlight of my summer and I really hope that I can get another opportunity to go to again next year.

 

Nicole Onchir