Heart Camp

June 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A special camp in Fresno County is giving children born with heart defects a chance to be just like other kids.About fifty children and their families are at Wonder Valley Ranch this weekend for Camp Taylor, a camp that many say changes lives.

Scars once hidden are now on display for all to see, as children born with congenital heart disease get a weekend of fun. "It's like the scar doesn't even exist... nobody even notices the scar," said Madera parent KayCee Casella.

Casella's daughter, Kaitlyn, was born with a heart defect and is attending Camp Taylor for the second time. Casella said she's already seen changes in Kaitlyn's behavior. "Singing out loud when she's normally very quiet? the counselors get her singing really loud. At the end of the weekend, she's exhausted, but it's well worth it," said Casella.

15 year old Rachel Goldring of Fresno says camp changed her life. She started attending six years ago and now helps out as a camp assistant.

Once shy, she's now a Bullard High School cheerleader high school cheerleader who shows off her scar with pride. "I've survived four open heart surgeries. I'm proud of it. It's like a badge," said Goldring.

Rachel's transformation from a quiet kid to a confident teen inspired her older sister, Jocelyn, to become involved in the camp.

Jocelyn is a camp counselor and raised more than $60,000 for Camp Taylor this year. That fundraising is important, because the families attend the camps free of charge.


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