I hope you are well. I wanted to share with you a story about Daryl who came to Barretstown as a camper when he was 8. He returned as a Cara in his teens. And now he’s back as a volunteer Doctor in our Med Shed.
When Daryl was born he was diagnosed with severe haemophilia. His illness made him sick throughout his childhood and kept him out of school constantly. When he was 8 years old he attended a haemophilia camp at Barretstown. He found out he wasn’t alone facing the struggles that came with having haemophilia.
Most importantly, he learned from that week in camp that he could still do all the things other children could do, as he told us. “I had a fear of heights at the time. But there was this tree behind the cottage that I’d watched the other kids climb all week. I really wanted to climb it before I left and I hadn’t.
So my last night in camp I said to my cara ‘I really wish I could’ve climbed that tree. I’d hate to leave without having done it’. So they woke me up at six the next morning, took me out and I climbed that tree – I made it all the way to the top!
It typified for me what Barretstown was about – going the extra mile for a child. Barrestown builds children up, makes children try to do things they didn’t think they could do.”
Daryl decided after that night he’d return as a cara to give back to children what Barretstown gave him. He went on to pursue his dream of becoming a Doctor. After medical school, he returned as a volunteer Doctor in Barretstown’s medical facility - the Med Shed.
He’s volunteered for the past two years in Barretstown’s haemophilia camps. Even in the Med Shed, Daryl says it’s all about helping children feel like they can do anything. “Prior to coming to camp, in some cases, the children’s Parents do all of their injections. The children haven’t taken the leap of faith to start injecting their own haemophilia factor.
So every day we’d gather these children in the Med Shed and teach them how to do their own injections. I’ve seen these same children back the following year who tell me the first time they did their own injections was in camp. And they’ve been doing it by themselves ever since.
It’s great experiencing camp from the Med Shed, seeing how even from here, we’re able to help children push their own boundaries.” Pushing boundaries is something that Daryl believes Barretstown helped him with as a child. Like so many campers we meet, Daryl came to camp and left with an important part of himself that his illness had taken away. “Every time I left camp with a growing sense of selfconfidence and greater selfesteem. It’s something you can’t really get anywhere else except at Barretstown.”
We have many campers like Daryl who have gone on to achieve some incredible things, with the help of Barretstown, and supporters like you!
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