The Holidays are upon us and it is a time of reaching out to those in need. I am reminded every day as the mother of a tween aged child with celiac disease that self image is so crucial at their age. We are fragile as young adults like that, so unsure of where we fit in the world and who we really are. And as we grow older, we still need to feel connected to others in some fashion. This is why gluten free support groups work for many people with celiac, gluten sensitivity, food intolerances, autism, etc. For that time that you have support, we are all the "norm" - We belong. I believe that feeling of belonging makes the impossible become the possible.The video below tells an amazing story of fulfilling that need in a very cool way for a teenager named Jason McElwain who has Autism (to turn off music on our page, scroll to bottom and push pause on player)...
I saw the need for my child, who was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 7, to identify with others like herself. We attended our first support group meeting and she ate dinner with 2 other children who were gluten free. When we walked out of the restaurant, she said to me, "See Mom, there are others just like me." That's when I looked into founding R.O.C.K.(Raising Our Celiac Kids) Charlotte. But that wasn't enough... The first summer after her diagnosis, other kids were going to camp. But how could I send her to day camp at that stage, let alone send her away to summer camp?
So I did random searches online to find a summer camp that was gluten free and Google led me to Camp Weekaneatit through a forum answer about R.O.C.K. Georgia. I sent them an email and signed her up after speaking to the director. She assured me that my gluten free worries were taken care of and I could finally sigh a breath of relief for a break with full knowledge that they had it under control.
Can you imagine the benefits? Your child finally gets to stretch out their independent wings and try being gluten free in a controlled environment free from worry and free from over doting parents. Not only that - they commune with, eat with, talk with others who share their struggles and challenges...And the doting parents get to breathe a sigh of relief in knowing they can quit feeling responsible occasionally for a week and there will be no child feeling sorry for themselves when their days are filled with loads of fun!
Our child still smiles anytime she talks about her experience there. I give Camp Weekaneatit credit for being the turning point in my daughter's ability to accept her illness as a minor disability that will not ever hold her back from achieving her dreams. And that is a cause worth saving if ever there were one...
Camp Weekaneatit has been funded by the Georgia Celiac Foundation for the past couple of years with less and less donation money coming from the public with the current economy. They are at a critical point and need your help...
TO: GEORGIA ROCK AND GEORGIA CELIAC FOUNDATION SUPPORTERS
We are at a critical point… if we do not raise funds through this effort by end of 2011, we will not be able to continue providing Camp Weekaneatit.
In order for Camp Weekaneatit to continue, we must raise funds to make it happen.
Please consider helping…it is easy, won’t take you very long…and your efforts will make a big difference in many lives.
Camp Weekaneatit looks like any other summer camp. You can hear the laughter…You wouldn't know it from looking at them, but all of our campers have celiac disease. They're just kids, having the time of their lives at a camp designed especially for them. Georgia Celiac Foundation’s vision on Camp Weekaneatit was to create a camp exclusively for celiac children, where not only could they experience all of the fun that comes with camp activities, but all food would be gluten free!
Camp Weekaneatit 2010
What: We are asking that you go to the website we have created: http://campweekaneatit.
On the right side of the page in the list—CLICK on START A GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN and then follow the easy 5 steps—IT IS SIMPLE! (it will ask you to join, it is easy and simple!)
It will allow you to make your own page, you can upload a picture of you---and your story of your involvement with camp or celiac disease, set a goal, and how much you want your friends, co-workers, relatives…(you get the idea!) to support this cause. This website is a great fundraising tool, that allows you to spread our word of need in a simple way, asking others to support us. If a lot of people each give what they can, we will meet our goal.
Then you send your link to your page or a button or…to your contacts and …
Then the money will start flying in! All will be able to see your support and progress, so we can all be proud of each other…PLEASE HELP!!!!!
Erin, my daughter at Camp Weekaneatit 2009
We all want Camp Weekaneatit to continue, please take action with me now.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me (info below). We thank you for your support. luck!
Jill Waddell, Camp Weekaneatit Director