If you are interested in attending Camp Cortisol, we would love to have you. So many of us parents are inspired by your story. - Rebecca Lemley
That is a message I received after my story from Children's Hospital Los Angeles was posted. Come to find out it had been passed around by many people throughout the country. I have to be honest it took a few weeks to consider this offer. I kept coming up with excuses: It's too far. I don't know what to expect. I'll be in the middle of training. Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah. Yep, I do believe those words were actually said out loud and in my head. There's a lot that is said in my head, but that would be too long of a blog post.
Ok, well, back to the story at hand.
With my wife's urging ("Why wouldn't you go?) and Rebecca being VERY persuasive, I said yes.
Camp Cortisol, located at Children's Harbor at Lake Martin in Alabama, is a new family camp created by Rebecca for families of children with Adrenal Insufficencies. I was representing the insufficiency of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH).
|See the bike in the back?|
Around 3:30 p.m. I pulled into the camp, with what I am sure was the most lost look that one could have, to check in. I was in Cabin 5B. This is the view from Cabin 5B:
After prepping dinner I sat down for a nice meal with the Gander family. They came all the way from Texas. We talked about what I am doing and they told me that in the past they have worked medical at IRONMAN Texas in the Houston area.
I looked around and was amazed at the number of families, about 44, and children that were there. That included those with adrenal insufficiencies and siblings. There were infants, toddlers, elementary school aged and pre-teens. Talking with these parents, as it was when I went to Painted Turtle Camp last year, was the most enjoyable time. This went on all weekend. I kept being told, "Thank you for being here and showing us that there are active adults." In return, it was my honor to be there. I enjoyed seeing all those with the medical bracelets and ID. The children would gasp when they saw that I was wearing one, also.
It was hard to say goodbye, but I needed to head home. After a stop at Piggly Wiggly for a gift, Hello Kitty and I headed to Auburn University for a visit. Being there during a non-football weekend was really enjoyable. Hello Kitty had so much fun! We will need to head there this fall for a game.
We eventually got home around 7 p.m. What a tremendously fun and rewarding weekend. There are too many people to thank and I don't want to leave anyone out. I will thank Rebecca for taking the risk and inviting me to come. I still don't believe what I am doing. Never in my life, well 48 years of it, did I imagine that I would be a beacon of hope for so many.
I can't wait for next year!-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is a link to my GoFundMe: gofundme.com/triingby50cahawareness
I could use some support also on my journey to IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta: I slip this last part in because it is something I do not like to do, but it will help me out in the pursuit of my goal by age 49 and then eventually age 50.