Friday, June 12, 2009

Philanthropy Friday Behind the Scenes with Flying Horse Farms

This Behind the Scenes Spotlight features non-profit organization Flying Horse Farms.  You can read my feature article on this incredible organization at Columbus Underground.

Hospitals and their staffs play an important role in creating awareness for Flying Horse Farms. In fact, Flying Horse Farms works with the following hospitals to recruit campers and educate parents on their program:
  • Akron Children's Hospital
  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • Nationwide Children's Hospital
  • Cleveland Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital
  • St. Vincent Mercy Children's Hospital
  • The Children's Medical Center of Dayton
  • The Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital
  • Toledo Children's Hospital


This leads me to a touching story about a recent camper of Flying Horse Farms who learned of this great organization from Cleveland's Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.  Here is Emily's Story:


Emily is a 12-year-old who loves to talk and has a huge smile. When asked about camp, she tells story after story after story, all at a very rapid pace. 


When Emily was ten, she was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, a cancer that attacks the kidneys. After diagnosis life went from being overwhelming - having surgery the next day - to life-changing. Since her initial diagnosis and treatments, she has had multiple relapses. She’s undergone countless hours of treatment at Cleveland’s Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. The illness has become a constant and daily part of Emily’s life, as well as her family’s. 


Emily first learned about camp when she saw a poster at the hospital. Her doctors and nurses thought it would be a great way for her to focus on something other than all the medical treatments, something positive. In fact, the medical staff was so excited for Emily to go to camp that they worked her treatment around the camp dates.


From trying new things to meeting new friends, Emily enjoyed it all. “I was pretty homesick the first night,” Emily recalls. “But once I started to get involved in all the things we did, I got really busy and had so much fun that the time just flew by.”


Emily got a chance to do a lot of things she’d never done before. Camp introduced her to horseback riding where she felt like she just entered “a zone.” Today she takes riding lessons once a week. Camp was so great that she returned again the following year, and this time she was able to use her experience and familiarity to be a support to the new kids.


Emily’s Parents Testimonial:


“Our lives had become so focused on the medical things: chemo, radiation, etc., that we’d all lost the opportunity to talk about and do ‘normal’ things,” said John, Emily’s dad. “We felt like camp allowed our entire family the chance to recapture a little bit of what had been lost. My wife and I spent some valuable time with each other and our son, while Emily had the experience of a lifetime.”


“Sending Emily to camp was a scary thing to do and at first and I was apprehensive. But then I realized that I needed to trust her doctors, who recommended that she go, and to also trust that the experience would be worth it,” recalls Emily’s mom, Debbie. “I can say without a doubt that it was worth it, for our entire family.”


Get connected with Flying Horse Farms social media pages:

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/flyinghorsefarm

Facebook: http://www.facebook/com/pages/Flying-Horse_Farms/53886238014

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