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Review for Camp Sunshine at Sebago Lake Inc, Casco, ME, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have told all of you before what an amazing impact Camp Sunshine has had on our family! Tacey has worldwide 'best' friends due to meeting them at Camp Sunshine. However, I wanted to share this with you so you have another testimonial of how Camp impacts others!

This is from Caitlyn Harkness who lives in New Jersey. She is the young lady we flew to Texas for Tacey's birthday.

"I am writing an essay for my language arts monthly writing and I really wanted to share it because it is dear to my heart......"The one person who has influenced me most in my life is My best friend Tacey Raulerson. Tacey was born with a rare cancer called Retinoblastoma which left her blind in both eyes. I met her through a camp for kids with cancer. My brother was also born with this rare form of eye cancer about 7 years ago. Just because she is blind doesn't mean that will stop her from doing anything she wants. Her ambitions are high and this has shown me that know matter what tries to stop you in life you can always find a way around it, and succeed. Even though she is blind she still can text, and she even uses her ipod without any help. She goes to regular school like you and me.
Tacey has really influenced me in my life because even though she is blind nothing will stop her from doing what she wants. You can say she is sorta hard headed, which I admire most because know one can tell her she can't, because she knows she always can. When we are at camp she does everything that any normal kid would, she goes out on the lake in a boat, she plays the game where we throw mini bean bags into a hole, and she plays volleyball which is our personal favorite. Some times I forget she is blind, which I guess to me means that she is so willing and strong enough to want to do everything we do,even though it might be challenging, its almost like she is like a super human. Her strength and views on the world makes me determine to be a better person and to view the world in a better way. Most people would be to scared to treat her as if though she isn't blind, but I have learned that if you treat a blind person as if though they are blind they will be upset verses if you don't treat them blind and you push them to do something out of there comfort zone they will be happy with the result. Her letting me guid her and letting me help her has inspired me because she trusts me enough to guid her and to help her do everything that I do and its a blessing from god to expose me to something like this. It taught me that everyone is the same know matter your disabilities, they are all people who desire to do everything we do and is willing to do what it takes to live a normal life.
I've never imagined my life having such an impact from one person who has accomplished so much in such little time. Tacey has influenced me in two ways; she taught me know matter how hard life gets, it always gets better in the end. Tacey was sick for the first 7 years of her life, always in the hospital going through chemo and more chemo. she somehow though, always kept a smile on her face and always saw the positive in life. Words really can't described how she impacted my life simply because it was is a life changing experience that not many can say they have experienced. Secondly she showed me that you can truly look over someones disabilities. Again its hard to explain in words of how you can truly look past someone who has a disability all I can say is that a person is a person and thats all I see them as. In the future I really hope our world is able to completely change in a way that I have, being able to treat everyone as just a person, viewing them on there personality, and not singling them out because they are different. The one person who has influenced me most in my life is my best friend Tacey Raulerson."

Tacey I love you! best friends for life!!!!"

Thank you AGAIN for everything all of you do to make Camp Sunshine such a magical place!!!

Role:  Client Served

Review for Camp Sunshine at Sebago Lake Inc, Casco, ME, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Camp Sunshine is an oasis for us! Our family’s attendance depends on generous donors, grants and other sponsorships. To understand why it means so much to us, you have to know our story.
After 13 years of marriage, my husband and I elatedly welcomed our precious daughter, Tacey, into our lives. Seven short months later, our world was again forever changed when she was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, a very rare cancer that forms tumors in the eyes of infants. Despite a hard fight with chemo, radiation and other treatments, Tacey eventually lost both eyes to this horrible disease. Tacey is now 13 years old and the joy of our lives!
Being blind has not slowed Tacey down in life! She is a very successful seventh grader with extremely high aspirations in our local public school. She swims as often as possible and plays the piano and guitar as she sings songs she composes. In her free time, she also rides horses. She and her horse lead parades, carry the USA flag for rodeos and participate in many special events. As much as we dislike (or despise) this disease, it has made Tacey who she is today! That, I wouldn’t change for any amount of money!
So many times in life, Tacey is told she cannot do things because she is blind. Many in society often feel she must be protected even when she is very capable of doing certain things.
At Camp Sunshine, Tacey isn’t told she can’t do something! She is able to do everything all the other children do. She is allowed to shine in a way that builds her confidence and allows her to go back to face the daily struggles.
Dealing not only with cancer, but also with a ‘disability’ can be challenging to say the least! Having an amazing group like Camp Sunshine where our family can not only have fun together while leaving the cares of the world behind, but also to meet other families and share our experiences is very therapeutic and healing for all of us! Our friends at Camp Sunshine, from the staff, volunteer and other families, have become an extension of our amazing family! Spending time at camp and with our Camp Sunshine family is a truly priceless experience!

Michael, Tammy and Tacey Raulerson

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Role:  Client Served