Hello! My name is Anna Amend and I am 14 years old, turning 15 next month. I live and go to school in Finneytown. As you might notice, I am an amputee. I was born with my physical disability and is the reason I am involved with Camp Joy. I have been going to Camp Joy for 3 years and hope to go back this summer.
My physical disability mainly changes how I look. I can pretty much do anything anyone else can. I have been on a swim team for 5 years and I am pretty active for my age. One day my mom suggested that I go to Camp Joy. She explained that they have half a week where amputees come for camp. I was hesitant to go, but my mom had made up her mind. When I returned, I couldn’t stop talking about it! There had been so many fun activities, people I had befriended, and no-one would stare at my prosthetic. While there, I learned how to put up my hair onehandedly, I met people I could relate to, and I got a good boost to my confidence. I couldn’t believe how much fun I had had. I love all of my friends and family, but at times I truly felt at home during camp.
During my second year, my cabin had a girl I had never met. She had just recently fought off cancer, but lost her leg through it. She could not walk because she had fears of walking on a prosthetic. Walking on a prosthetic came easily for me because I had been doing it nearly all my life, so my cabin mates and I got to work. Every time she tried, we gave her words of encouragement. We sweet-talked her, pushed her despite her protests, and got the whole camp into it. For the last evening, our cabin held a play where the girl would walk in front of the entire camp. With two counselors by her side, she walked her first steps since cancer. We didn’t care that she was the one in the spotlight, we were smiling wide as could be. Her accomplishment was our accomplishment. Each and every one of us had been there. We had all been in a position where we went from being doubtful to feeling successful. On that night, we were all able to feel blessed that all of us were together. Despite our differences, we were all the same. We were happy, full of laughs, and could all agree that it was a night to remember.
Since then I have had many other memorable moments at camp which included dance parties, ghost stories, swimming, and good times. I have been able to meet members of the Paralympics, make new friends, and heard so many different Camper’s stories. Camp Joy has been a key for me. A key to learn, listen, and understand. I am proud to call it my camp. Whenever I look back, I never want it to end. I look forward and know that it will have a good spot in my memories and heart!
Anna Amend, Camper Story 2014