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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sharing Simcha -- Part II

When Sharon first came to Camp Simcha, she was a shy, frightened child. Little did the novice staff members realize what a sparkling personality she'd been just a few months earlier. Cancer had mercilessly stolen her confidence, self-esteem, energy... and her hair. She felt almost guilty for feeling this way, but at eleven years old, that mattered almost as much as the threat to her very life.

As one fabulous, fun-filled day followed another, Sharon slowly came out of her shell. She began to make friends with her bunkmates and allowed herself to let go and enjoy a variety of engaging activities. In Camp Simcha, it's normal to cover your head or have less hair, so Sharon felt a bit less self-conscious ... but still, while many campers began to hold their heads up proudly, Sharon's remained hidden beneath her bandanas. Even in the bunkhouse at night, where girls begin to feel comfortable and trust the privacy, Sharon would get under her blanket before slipping off her bandana, and sleep covered all night.

However, as strong as the effects of chemo and isolation, the Simcha Magic proved stronger. On the last day of camp, Sharon came by my office to display the headband she'd created in one of the crafts workshops ... on her own fuzzy head. Rumor had it she'd been walking around that way all day, garnering compliments on her new 'do.

Postscript: The next summer, Sharon returned to camp, golden locks framing her gaunt face. This time, she already knew to expect an atmosphere of love and acceptance, and did not have to warm up at all before diving headfirst into the camp experience ... and thus, not a moment of her last summer was wasted on lonely feelings of insecurity. The Simcha Magic carried her high until the very end.

Please support Camp Simcha and Simcha Special by sponsoring me in the Team Lifeline marathon!
Thanks ProfK, HalfShared, David Linn, and Juggling Frogs for your generous donations!


halfshared said...

I admire every person involved in organizations such as Chai Lifeline, Zichron Shlomo, Mekimi..they are all amazing and in that zechus, may you and everyone else that volunteers never need such services.

Bas~Melech said...


OTOH, I'm happy to know that even if HaShem gives me those kind of challenges, I know where to turn and there are yidden who will help with everything.