Camp Family

Hi everyone!
This weekend I had my camp party where several of the kids from camp came to my house to swim, eat, watch movies and just have fun. I go to a camp for kids with CHD. (Congenital Heart Defect) We went swimming (for about 5 minutes because it was too cold! Lol.), we had a water balloon fight, squirt gun fight, roasted hot dogs for dinner and made smores over a camp fire.
We all sat down near the end of the night and watched old camp pictures of us from years ago. We only get to see each other twice a year, so this party was a great and much needed get together for all of us heart kids. Before I went to camp, I felt alone and like I was the only one with a heart defect. But camp has shown me and so many other kids out there that you are not alone and that there are people out there who know and understand what you are going through.

All the girls spent the night on Saturday and we stayed up till 4 AM in the morning. We talked about boys, movies, fashion and even dancing. But for the better part of the night we talked about things that we couldn't talk about with any of our friends at school. We talked about our fears, about the times when we have been made fun of because of our scars, the times when teachers haven't understood of our health problems and all the people out there who just assume we are healthy because we look healthy. My friend told us a story about how a teacher tried to take her to the principal's office for using the elevator at school, she had tried to explain to the teacher that she had a heart defect; but he hadn't believed her. Another friend talked about girls in Gym class who would say how they wished they had a heart defect so they wouldn't have to run the mile. We all shook our heads in disbelief. "They wouldn't want our lives if they had to take 40 pills a day, get a pacemaker, need a transplant, miss a whole semester of school and be locked up in a hospital room for hours on end." I told them and we all agreed.

We talked about how we consider ourselves lucky. We are lucky because we were born in a time where medical technology was growing and becoming better and better each day, keeping us alive. We also agreed that we are lucky to have heart defects. Strange, I know. But we all feel that having CHD makes us more accepting, understanding, loving and appreciative of life. We all agreed that we wouldn't want to be normal teens because we fear that we may not be as understanding and accepting of others. We all know what it's like to be different and we wouldn't want to cause anyone the pain we have had in our lives just because people don’t understand. Two of the friends from camp were once normal teens before they found out they had a heart defect. One ended up getting a transplant and the other now has a pacemaker/defibulator. They both said that they appreciate life so much more now that they know how fast it can all vanish.

I have grown up with these kids. We have all been there for each other through the hard times, because we all know what it's like to go through what we go through. I know that if I ever need someone to talk to, or a shoulder to cry on; the kids from camp will be there for me. We are a family. We are all there for one another. We are all supportive. We all care for one another. We all love each other. This is my camp family and I love them so much.



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My Life As A Chronically
Ill Young Adult
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