Carolyn was only 9 months old when her battle against cancer began. The struggles and setbacks of a childhood filled with treatments, hospital trips, and procedures were building as Carolyn looked ahead to her teen years.
“I had to learn to do all the basics like walking, talking and eating… It was a challenge making friends.”
It was at age 12 that she found a connection that would give her strength to keep fighting when, through hospital staff, Carolyn’s family was introduced to Special Love and Camp Fantastic.
“After going to camp it helped me realize it wasn’t just me. [Camp] did help in my journey going through school... Other kids were going through some similar experiences… and counting down the months to Camp Fantastic.”
Carolyn’s life would never be the same because of her diagnosis, but also because she found forever family through Special Love.
“I met my husband (Andrew) my last year as a camper… and my first year at camp I met a girl named Katie…and 20 years later we are still very close.”
The strength and support that Carolyn received inspired her to help others and to give back through sharing her experiences with others who walk the same path she did.
“I have volunteered for every SL event, and I enjoy helping anyway I can and am needed. If someone needs help, I am there. I am very grateful for everything that SL has given me and continues to do for families going through.”
It wasn’t just strength to survive and a resolve to serve that changed Carolyn’s life; she now can offer empathy and advocacy for others in a way that very few could.
“Being in my journey it helps me understand others. Because of my [Cancer] journey and Special Love, I know ‘normal’ is not the norm”.