Gabriella (Gabby) Brown is a 21 year-old aide for Cincinnati Children’s Hematology & Oncology week from Wilmington, Ohio. A former camper with Wilmington City Schools, Gabby was familiar with the values of Camp Joy when she returned as an aide at age 16.
Upon birth Gabby was diagnosed with Vascular and Lymphatic Malformation, beginning her relationship with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. For Gabby, this condition couldn’t begin to hold her back. She was involved in various athletic activities since elementary school and continues to pursue a healthy and active lifestyle throughout college. Her ability to overcome obstacles made her an excellent fit for Camp Joy and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Hematology & Oncology program: “I started coming to Joy more frequently when the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital began inviting vascular patients to their Oncology and Hematology camp, Camp NJoyItAll. I was 16 years old at the time, so I began as an aide for young patients coming to camp who needed some assistance.”
This experience as an aide has allowed Gabby to impact the lives of younger campers and show them that anything is possible: “Joy has helped me to think outside of the box in order to assist in providing opportunities for those who may not have the ability to experience similar activities as their peers.” Gabby’s ability to think outside the box to provide the same opportunities to camper’s with limiting conditions allowed her to assist a camper with an amputation to conquer the Polaris Ropes Course’s zip-line: “One of the campers that I aided for had her leg amputated just a few months prior to attending camp during her fight with cancer. Because she was not able to climb a ropes course, a universal harness was used to enable her to experience the zip-line… And just like that, she was able to have the experience of a lifetime.”
When it comes to Camp Joy, Gabby believes “there is a magic about camp that is indescribable, and I could only dream of a time when everyone could have such an experience.”