Typically, son Ryan, "turning" 26 tomorrow, has been out of town on his birthday for pretty much 19 of his 26 years. That "out of town" is Front Royal, Virginia's 4-H Center, and his happy place (of course, besides home!) at camp and Special Love's Camp Fantastic! With all things being canceled due to COVID-19, this camp that takes in around 100 cancer kids (with compromised immune systems) from a tri-state area and DC was no exception to the cancellation policy.
Ryan, the Special Love family that includes the NIH doctors, nurses, and many volunteers that are needed to run camp, have been truly disappointed with no camp this year (I think this would have been its 37th straight year.) We know what an incredible impact this has on this entire community, especially the first time campers, most of whom were diagnosed with a childhood cancer earlier this year. To not be able to participate with other kids with similar stories is heartbreaking for all (they need that camaraderie.) Ultimately, though, it's all about keeping each other safe, and, definitely, keeping the most vulnerable safe which includes those 100 campers.
So, what did that mean for us as a family? We get to celebrate with Ryan this year and it started last night with TOPGOLF. He then golfed 18 holes today with a friend, and tomorrow, his birthday, Ryan plans on cooking for all of us! He will don the RyGuyBBQ hat and grill and smoke up something delicious on his Traeger. I know he would give it all up for a chance to be at camp, but we are thankful that we are not too shabby at "second place."
|Olivia; me, Ryan and Bill and Stephens and Lizdot (back row)|