For one special week each year, the MDA Camp in Brandon serves as an oasis of joy for about 50 youths afflicted with one of the dozens of variations of Muscular Dystrophy.
And Jesuit High School students and alumni are always there with them, to support and serve the children, day and night.
This year’s MDA Camp, which is held annually at Rotary’s Camp Florida, was June 21-26. Seventeen Jesuit alumni and current students lived at the camp for the week. They were each matched up with a camper for several days of fun, fellowship, and camaraderie.
Jesuit teacher and track & field coach Andy Wood ’92 has served at the camp for 25 years, since he was a student. Joining him this year were Austin Acebo ’13, Connor Bracy ’11, Jack Cerillo ’16, John Paul Collins ’17, Shane Eilers ’17, Will Emmanuel ’11, Joe Epstein ’15, Myles Hahn ’16 , Alex Hernandez ’15, Austin Jurado ’11, Adam Perhosky ’08 , Darryl Turmel ’97, Ralph Vaello ’13, Carter Wallace ’11, Frankie Wamsley ’13 (Wamsley is on the homepage photo with his camper, Ricky), and Sean Wickett ’16.
“It’s a week every camper truly lives for, a week that they spend the other 51 weeks of the year looking forward to,’’ Wood said. “Kids with Muscular Dystrophy spend the week engaged in a variety of camp activities, all designed so they can participate no matter their degree of disability.”
Wood said the relationships make it a unique, special experience.
“We're with some of our closest friends – campers and counselors alike,” Wood said. “On Friday, when the campers leave the grounds with their parents, the counselors are overwhelmed (to have) helped give their camper the best week of their year.
“It has been my privilege watching so many Jesuit young men give of themselves to help make their camper's week truly memorable.”
Please see the photo slideshow below from MDA Camp 2015, or click here:
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