Helping to give kids strength for their journey, that’s the goal of Camp Rise Above. The non profit organization provides fun life-changing camp experiences for children across the state with serious illnesses, disabilities and challenges.
Camp Rise Above at James Island County Park is a place where kids can just be kids. Camp Rise Above founder Barbara Denton says, “This year we’re so excited. We’re doing three weeks of camp. Our first week was last week and we did children with heart and kidney disease. Thursday and Friday children with sickle cell disease. Monday and Tuesday it was children with brain tumors, and their siblings got to come to that camp. Today we’re doing three new camps, Tourette’s Syndrome, epilepsy, .and traumatic brain injury. You see all the kids in the pool right now they have one of those diagnosis.”
Each camper has their own counselor or buddy. Every camp has medical professional in case help is needed. Dr. Ramin Eskandari, a pediatric neurosurgeon says, “We don’t see these kids having so much fun. We usually see them unfortunately in the hospital and the clinic usually giving them bad news or trying to help them through their disorders. This is an opportunity to see them in a very different light, having fun with their peers, friends, some of their family are here. I think it’s great. Ii think from a health perspective, it gives them something to look forward to, to not make them feel like they’re not having a problem all day long. It’s definitely something different, and it gives them an opportunity to deal with their problems in a different light. They learn how to manage their seizure for example while they’re having fun in a pool, while they’re fishing doing normal activities. i think it just overall makes them feel more normal.”
Thirteen-year-old Derrick Goodman says, “I don’t feel left out. It’s fun hanging around people because I’ve never seen them before. It’s actually a lot of fun than I thought, but when I first came, I was nervous. It’s awesome.”
From exploring the outdoor to fun games, Six year old Baylor Hamby says she enjoyed all the activities, but the part she enjoyed the most was going swimming, but she also says, “I like to go fish.”
The camp was the recipient of the Glasspro 3 degree guarantee weather donation in June. Camp Rise Above is a year round organization, and goes to hospitals ever other month to bring the camp experience to hospitalized children.
They have expanded this service to Columbia and Greenville as well. The camp is funded by grants, donations, sponsors, and volunteers help make it happen. They need your help. Their goal is to build a physical camp that can accommodate all of the children.
For more information on how you can help, click here http://campriseabove.org/about-us/