SPECIAL FOR THE AJT //
“Go Chris go!” a counselor yelled to a camper as he slid into home base. Usually the player that runs the homerun is the player that hit the ball, but this homerun was different.
The ball was hit by Tyrell, a camper at Camp Twin Lakes. Tyrell was a child around the age of 9, who needed a liver transplant. In order to get around camp, he had to sit in a wagon. Today was a special day because he wanted to play baseball and his program leader helped him to the plate.
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Chris ran the homerun for Tyrell, because Tyrell was not strong enough to run himself.
Tyrell looked as if he was five years old. He was smaller because he needed a liver transplant and his body was not able to develop fully. With the help of his nurse, he was convinced to try baseball.
Chris, an outgoing camper who befriended everyone, volunteered to run for him. At the plate, Tyrell swung at the ball and missed. He tried again. He could not hold the bat up for long because his arms were not strong enough. He tried to hit and he missed for a second time. He swung at the ball for a third time.
This time, Tyrell hit the ball. From that point on, it did not matter how far the ball went because Chris ran and did not stop running until he made it to home base. Tyrell had hit a homerun!
Tyrell is just one of 9,000 children and teens served by Camp Twin Lakes (CTL) annually through the year-round, medically-supportive camp programs for children facing serious illnesses, disabilities, and other life challenges.
In collaboration with nearly 60 nonprofit community partners, Camp Twin Lakes provides life-changing experiences at its state-of-the-art, fully-accessible campsites in Rutledge, Winder, and Warm Springs, Georgia; at children’s hospitals across the state; and at various day camps in Atlanta. In addition, Camp Twin Lakes provides an 80 percent subsidy for every camper served which translates to $800 per child for one week of camp.
CTL’s campsites are medically-equipped in order to meet the extensive range of campers’ needs. Relatively serious procedures that would otherwise require a hospital visit during their camp stay are handled on site.
For example, campers requiring chemotherapy or dialysis can receive treatment in our medical lodge and quickly return to camp programming. The sense of confidence gained from a camp experience is transformative and campers return home with a new sense of pride.
Camp helps campers build camaraderie and friendships, and equally important, supports systems that will see them through their hard times back home, which often entail doctor’s appointments, hospital visits and ongoing treatments.
Camp Twin Lakes provides a place for kids to try new things that they never thought possible. Camp helped Tyrell hit his first homerun!
To help fund the subsidy, Camp Twin Lakes invites Atlanta shoppers to shop, dine, and save for 10 days! Camp Twin Lakes’ Partners Card is a 10-day shopping and dining program held in the metro Atlanta area.
From Fri., Oct. 25 through Sun., Nov. 3, individuals who purchase a $60 Partners Card will receive 20 percent off at more than 400 retailers and restaurants. All of the proceeds from the sale of each $60 Partners Card directly benefits Camp Twin Lakes thanks to generous sponsors.
In 2012, Camp Twin Lakes was able to raise more than $319,000 through Partners Card sending nearly 400 campers to Camp Twin Lakes. Partners Card and its supporters make it possible for Tyrell to accomplish more than a homerun his first time up at bat, he was allowed to be a 9-year-old boy who scored a point for his team.