Meet our daughter Marisa, a sassy 16 year old with dreams of a happy, independent life on her own. However, Marisa struggles with severe and debilitating anxiety that causes her to have trouble getting through the normal functions of daily life. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see her unable to enjoy things that other girls her age enjoy. She is a bright young lady with intellectual and physical disabilities along with global sensory issues that contribute to her constant anxiety. She is also painfully aware of these issues that cause her so much unhappiness. She tells us on a daily basis that "life is hard" and asks why she can't "just be normal". On the toughest of days, she says she "just can't live like this anymore" and begs me for help. As her mother, I have searched relentlessly for answers to help my daughter. Marisa is a sweet girl who can brighten a room with her smile and make anyone feel welcome and cared for with her kind and loving manner. We want desperately for her to be calm, happy and confident. We have tried doctor after doctor, therapy after therapy and more medications than I can count, all with some benefit, but we feel it is time for something intensive and "outside the box". We have found what we feel will be a LIFE-CHANGING experience for Marisa.....attending Camp Starfish in July of 2014.
Please visit their website - http://www.campstarfish.org/
and read about the amazing work they are doing there. Camp Starfish provides a 1:1 staff-to-camper ratio at all times
to enable success, build social skills, teach coping mechanisms, and help children who have difficulty finding success in traditional settings. They are a one-of-a-kind summer camp, year-round support and advocate for children and families. Camp Starfish is a unique environment, the only camp in New Hampshire to offer a one-to-one camper-to-counselor relationship. In their program, each year more than 200 young boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 17 who struggle with debilitating psychological and learning disabilities have found the care and compassion needed to help them move forward in life.This camp will give Marisa the opportunity to attend an overnight summer camp (as all children should have the chance to do), in an atmosphere that will encourage her to try new things and build her self-confidence, all the while helping her deal with her daily struggles and giving her the tools she needs to grow into the wonderful, happy adult we know she can be. These teenage years are crucial for Marisa and we feel that we must help her now so that she can grow into her potential and be a self-sufficient, independent adult. The tuition for 19 days of overnight camp is $5000. Since we live in South Carolina, we will also need to pay for a hotel room for me to stay in New Hampshire for the entire 19 days, as a care giver has to be within a 3-4 hour drive of the camp at all times. PLEASE help us raise $8000 to allow Marisa to attend this life-changing camp and start living the life she deserves!