Being together with Roundup River Ranch campers is Andy’s happy place. Why? Because here, “I can love myself for who I am.”
Andy’s illness started mysteriously with strange neurological symptoms and horrible pain. He was sent to the ICU with significant swelling in his brain that caused seizures so intense that he was put into a lengthy coma to quiet his brain.
Every December, I am reminded of this moment that drastically changed our lives three years ago. The holidays were always Andy’s favorite time of year and I didn’t know if he was ever going to wake up, or if he could even hear me tell him how much I loved him. When Andy woke up from his coma he whispered, “I love you, Mom.”
We don’t know what the future holds for Andy. He had to relearn a lot of his life skills again and left the hospital in a wheelchair. I never thought Roundup River Ranch would be an option for him during the summer of 2019, but Andy proved us wrong. We knew a week-long Summer Camp was a really big step forward, and for Andy to have this opportunity to have this week of joy, freedom, and confidence – along with exceptional medical care…is priceless. To experience all of this free of charge takes one more worry out of my worry box.
Roundup River Ranch enriched Andy’s self-awareness and acceptance of his medical condition. He is able to identify and articulate when something doesn’t feel right. This has given him the confidence to reclaim his life. This past October, Andy was elected by his high school classmates to be Homecoming Royalty. He is enjoying getting back to all the things he loves, which includes camp!
“From now on, I am brave enough to share my story about how I got sick. Even though I have a medical condition, I can still make it through life. I can handle anything.”
Whether online, in-person, or delivered, camp is such a generous gift for our whole family. Camp is where Andy finds joy and identifies with others. It’s our happy place that brings us all together.
-Courtney, Andy’s mom