MOUNT GILEAD, Ohio (WCMH) — One local teen is making a huge difference for a camp that made a difference for her.
Through a project for her school, she was able to raise thousands of dollars so that others could find hope at Flying Horse Farms just as she did.
“Staying grateful has been a big part with getting through my diagnosis and dealing with my illness,” said Allie Meyers.
Juvenile Arthritis is and autoimmune disease and it’s a diagnosis most 10 year olds don’t expect to hear.
It causes severe stiffness and pain for Allie.
“Basically, my immune system is kind of attacking my joints so I’m on an immune suppressant medication to keep everything in check.”
The year she got the painful diagnosis, was the year she found hope and people just like her at Flying Horse Farms.
“It really helped me. It’s staffed with doctors. So, it really just allows kids to feel like a kid for a week not worrying about doctor’s appointments, meds, and it just allows kids to be a kid.”
It’s been years since she started camp, and this year for a capstone project, she wanted to give back with gratitude.
“I actually have a gratitude journal of my own and I write down what I’m grateful for every day. It just really helps keep things in focus and really helped me stay positive.”
She created her own gratitude journal and sold it to raise money for Flying Horse Farms.
“We sold 658 books, which is crazy.”
The proceeds wound up being $4,000.
“It was like, ‘What?!’ Right, that is incredible. We talk about things that are magic in camp but that was beyond magic,” said Nichole Dunn with Flying Horse Farms.
She says the medical specialty camp works to provide healing for kids with illnesses and their families and comes at no cost to the camper — and the results have been priceless.
“It’s incredibly powerful to hear laughter that they didn’t even know could come out from their belly but at the same time just the confidence that they acquire when they walk out smiling and standing tall.”
Now more campers can stand tall like Allie, because of her.
“I never thought I would be able to do something like this. They have done so much for me that it felt so good to be able to give at least a little bit of that joy back.”