Mount Gilead’s Flying Horse Farms isn’t your average summer camp. It’s a life-changing one.
That's because the mission at Flying Horse Farms is making sure children with serious illnesses and their families can come to camp to leave sickness behind.
The unusual camp is for kids who love to have fun. They’re also kids facing cancer, heart conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, blood disorders, asthma, gastrointestinal disorders or craniofacial anomalies.
The camp experience is built so that each camper feels accepted and loved. And for families, it’s all free.
During week-long summer camps, and weekend family camps in the spring and fall, you’ll find kids swimming, boating, and fishing. They explore arts and crafts, archery and the high ropes course. No matter what, at Flying Horse Farms, no child is left behind.
On-site, round-the-clock health care is available to campers. The WellNest is staffed 24/7 by volunteer medical professionals from children’s hospitals across Ohio and the Midwest.
Last year, 36 percent of campers were from Northeast Ohio, thanks in part to powerful partnerships with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital and University Hospital’s Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
WKYC Channel 3’s Sara Shookman is no stranger to the expectations of camp and has been working with Flying Horse Farms since 2015.
“I had just lost my Dad to cancer, and the ability to help kids dealing with some of the same symptoms and treatments I’d seen him suffer through seemed like a perfect mission for good,” Shookman said.
“He had lived with cancer so gracefully, I wanted to help sick kids be able to do he same thing; just be kids. It was a humbling experience.”
She is an honorary co-chair for Campfire Cleveland 2017, an event to celebrate the efforts of Flying Horse Farms on Saturday, April 22. The fundraiser, at the Tinkham Veale University Center on Case Western Reserve University’s campus will help change the lives of children with serious illnesses and their families.
WKYC is a media sponsor of the event.
It’s a night of fun, featuring performances by the acclaimed American rock band with Ohio roots, O.A.R. and Ohio native Caly Bevier, of 'America’s Got Talent' fame.
You can buy tickets or find out more by clicking here.
Chairman of Pediatric Cardiology at Cleveland Children’s Hospital Dr. Gerard Boyle says that working with the children at camp has allowed him see his patients as children.
“I think the resilience of the human spirit is never more evident that watching these kids overcome their fears and their difficulties,” said Dr. Boyle