Dear Friends, Family, & Supporters,
We come to you today to humbly ask for help to make it possible to get the kids to Camp Korey again this year.
They may say Disney World is the “happiest place on Earth”, but for one week in the summer, I have no doubt that Camp Korey really is. The smiles on every child, counselor, nurse, and doctor tell me I am right. Each year we wonder how we can possibly top the year before, and somehow it happens. This place…Camp Korey…and the people there, change lives.
With your help, this year we return more triumphantly than ever before….This year we reach the goal we set last year to be returning to this special place as a whole family, with Michael; Chance, a year older and a year wiser, returns a seasoned counselor, with hopes and goals for every one of “his kids”; Madison is returning, in the role of LIT (Leadership In Training) for the first time!!; and Abigail will be savoring her final year as a camper. This year, while impossible to imagine it being possible, we are even more grateful (and desperate) for this blessing in our lives.
Camp Korey’s mission is to “honor the courage, strength, & determination of children and their families who battle life threatening and serious illnesses; and to provide them with a safe, friendly, medically sound environment in which to simply have fun and be kids.” Camp Korey fulfills this mission in amazing ways!!
For those that may be new to our story, my name is Heather and I have been married to my husband, Michael for almost 25 years (our anniversary will happen while we are in Seattle). We are the proud parents to three amazing young people….Chance (19), Madison (16) & Abigail(15). I write to you today to share our story and to ask for your help to make summer camp possible for our children again this year.
Chance, Madison and Abigail have endured a great many challenges since they were very young, due to an inherited metabolic disease called Mitochondrial Disease. Mitochondria are present in every cell in the body except for red blood cells, and are responsible for the production of energy for the cells to use to function. When a Mitochondrial Disease is present, not enough energy can be produced and many body systems are affected and progressively fail to provide their function within the body. Any stress on the body, even something as simple as a cold, can cause devastating affects. It is a life threatening disease with no cure, and minimal treatment options.
Camp was initially important to make happen because it was a “typical” right of passage for childhood, and one we thought would never be possible for the kids. Due to all three being unable to control their body temperature correctly, most summer camp locations are too hot for them to be able to participate, and their medical needs make most camps, even those for medical reasons, unable to handle their complex needs.
Thankfully Camp Korey, just outside of Seattle, Washington, exists and they are the first & only camp in the country to have dedicated a week to Mitochondrial Disease kids!! Camp Korey is a medically supervised camp staffed with physicians and nurses, and trained camp counselors for children suffering from serious and life threatening illnesses. The camp provides a week-long experience of camp programs and activities for children ages 7-15 at no cost to them.
What camp has become for the kids is so much more than giving them a “typical” experience. It has changed their lives!! They come away from camp more confident & independent, but more importantly, they come away in better shape physically, mentally & emotionally, with a renewed spirit of hope and optimism. It is truly incredible to see them shine, literally, after a week at Camp Korey.
To quote Camp Korey's website: “For a few days or more at Camp Korey, children enjoy the novel experience of being defined not by their medical diagnosis, but by their spirit, their creativity, and their own potential.” Thank’s to Camp Korey, our children have the chance to be defined by such wonderful things. Thanks to our supporters, like you, they have this chance to be so defined!! Its because of you and ALL that you do, that these kids can flourish and be amazing, at Camp Korey, and in their world in general.
While the camp is free to attend, we do have to get ourselves there, cover expenses getting the kids ready to go, and expenses while we are there, and this is where you all come in.
We need your help to make it happen!!
Fifteen years of very high medical expenses has devastated us financially, so something like this is just out of our reach without help. This last year has been especially difficult for our family, and all three need something to look forward to, and are so excited about the prospect. All to say, we just have to find a way to make this happen.
We are working hard as a family to raise the money needed, and are incredibly grateful for any contributions you might be able to make. We have full faith that this is meant to be and are looking forward to making some incredible memories.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of our cause.
Michael & Heather McNair
Proud Parents to Chance, Madison & Abigail