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On the shores of Lake Bloomington, at the Easter Seal's Timber
Pointe Outdoor Center, the Brain Injury Association of Illinois
facilitates two wonderful weeks for brain injury survivors each
summer. Wilderness Endeavor for adults and Camp Funzone for children
and adolescents allow survivors a week of outdoor activities outside
their normal routines.
Last week, 54 adult survivors from all over Illinois were part of
Wilderness Endeavor. I was a first-time camper sharing Shagbark
cabin with many of my fellow survivors.
Philicia L. Deckard, executive director of the Brain Injury
Association of Illinois, is to be praised for her efforts providing
the survivors the camping opportunity.
Degree of injury varied with the survivor. No two brain injuries
were the same. Still, we all shared some very real problems related
to our brain injury. Many were in wheelchairs, many used canes, and
many others had no visible characteristic setting them apart. Each
represented a life and a family drastically affected by what is
often referred to as the invisible injury.
The staff of Timber Pointe took good care of us, even with our
diverse degrees of injuries. Many activities were on the schedule,
most of which we would never experience apart from the specially
equipped camp that was staffed with specially trained people. We had
the chance for horseback riding, swimming, boating and fishing,
along with arts and crafts and a talent show -- all ordinary camp
activities for an extraordinary group of campers.
[to top of second column in this letter]
On Friday night there was a dance to end the week. I wish you
could have been there. One of the survivors who is wheelchair bound,
has trouble speaking and uses a letter board to communicate was on
the dance floor enjoying the music and dancing. She had the biggest
smile I ever saw. Her eyes were filled with joy and her face just
The best part of the week for me was spending time with my fellow
survivors. We saw each other as people. It did not matter what type
of handicap we had or the degree of our brain injury. For that week
we were seen as people and not just seen as our brain injury, which
is how we are often seen by many.
for children and adolescents will be held this Aug. 5-9. If you know
someone under the age of 18 who has a brain injury and would benefit
from the camp, call the Brain Injury Association of Illinois. The
group could also use your help to make a difference in the lives of
children. Please become a camp sponsor or just sponsor one day for a
Contact the Brain Injury Association of Illinois today and help
Camp Funzone and Wilderness Endeavor make a difference in the lives
of the survivors of brain injuries. Call (800) 699-6443 or visit
them on the Web at
Advocate for brain injury awareness
(Posted June 15, 2006)
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