I’m nuts. Verifiably so.
All of Zoe’s followers are familiar, at least moderately, with the camp she attends every summer. Flying Horse Farms is a magical place. Zoe would likely never get to experience sleep away camp without it. Camp costs money, generally, and it’s money that I simply do not have. Also, how do you hand over your kid with a medical history like Zoe’s and the laundry list of medication she takes daily over to some cute little college kid who likely spends the rest of their summer break from college making the duck face on Instagram? You don’t. There is zero probability that I would do anything even remotely like that.
Enter Flying Horse Farms….staffed with actual medical personnel (Zoe’s cardiologist included), a medical building, heated/air conditioned cabins, and all the accommodations a parent with a medically fragile child could ever want. Now make this wonderful place completely free to the families who are already stretched thin both mentally and financially. For one week every summer, these kids get to just be kids in spite of their diagnoses. Ironically they are NOT riding horses, but they ARE fishing, doing archery, training dogs, arts and crafts, canoeing, having talent shows, swimming, singing for their supper and roasting marshmallows. Zoe cries every year when I arrive to pick her. I stopped taking this personally after her first summer when she cried all the way home.
The amazingness doesn’t stop here. These kids have siblings. These siblings live their lives being second. They are used to being dragged to days worth of medical appointments that aren’t for them. They’re no stranger to living with family while mom and dad are living at the hospital with their sibling. They’re used to fielding the question, “What’s wrong with your sister/brother?” Most of them are probably far more grown-up than their years would let on. Guess what? These kids get a week at camp too. They get an entire week of being #1. An entire week where their day is not dependent on their siblings schedule. Can it get more amazing than that? This is also free to the families. That’s right. Zero charge.
Can you try for a minute and imagine what this must cost. Utilities, staff, food, supplies, etc… Just 1 summer has got to be a small fortune. Flying Horse Farms is able to make all this magic happen because of the generosity of others.
Here’s where my insanity comes in. My family has benefited from camp for many years now. I like to give back where and when I can. When I saw a post for the Berkshire Triathlon come through my Facebook feed, the light bulb when on! The Berkshire Triathlon is a non-competitive, sprint distance (shorter distance – 750 meter swim, 10.8 mile bike 3.1 mile run) triathlon that raises money for charities that cater to special kids like my Zoe. This year, they are donating 100% of the proceeds from the event to Flying Horse Farms.
I’ve got the running portion down so I figured that this is an area I could help. I said to myself, “Self, we’re doing a Sprint Tri!” Being a financially challenged, single mom, I was then faced with a couple of problems; how to pay the registration fee and where to train for the swim. I reached out to the HR person at the organization where I work and the local YMCA which hosts my Girls on the Run team so ask about sponsorship. Low and behold, LifeShare Community Blood Services covered my registration and the YMCA offered me a free 3 month membership. Not only am I doing a sprint triathlon, but I’m doing it as a sponsored athlete!
Here is where you guys can help too. I’m trying to raise $500 for the event, to go directly to camp. Below is my fundraising link. Click. Donate. Help kids go to camp. #beactive #bemerry #helpsickkids