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Teams and Walkers
Teams and Walkers
Meet our 2022 Camper Ambassadors: Flynn, Bennett, & Nellie!
These twin brothers and younger sister have been through so much, and it's been an absolute joy and privilege to provide them a FUN, safe place to make wonderful memories together!
Here is their story, as told by their mother, Lindsey:
I am Lindsey. Twin mom, nurse, and now—a medical mom-a cancer mom.
I made a career of being a caregiver as a nurse. I was confident in my knowledge and skills and often sacrificed time with my family to be there for other families. I felt I was prepared for anything until my family experienced a crisis of our own and I received the phone call to pack a bag and take my son to Sinai. As I collapsed to the ground, I knew in my heart that we would not be receiving good news when we arrived. When Flynn was admitted to the hospital for leukemia, I went through a whirlwind of emotions. I kept thinking how do I explain this to a 4 year old, what do I tell Bennett and their sister Nellie? Flynn LOVES his friends and family and LOVES being a kid. He spent that first week in the hospital feeling very sad, scared, and defeated. He missed his friends and family so much. He had never spent this much time away from his twin, Bennett.
When he got home, we adjusted to a new normal of frequent hospital visits for chemotherapy, blood, and platelet transfusions, unplanned hospital admissions, missed vacations, Flynn leaving school, and I had to stop working and stop going to school to be a Nurse Practitioner…all while during a pandemic. This meant during hospital admissions, only one parent could be with Flynn, my husband had to permanently work from home, and there were no visitors allowed in the hospital.
We began to see the light at the end of the tunnel with Flynn as we headed out of the chaos and into the maintenance phase that would last from August 2021 to February 2023. Then, the unthinkable happened. Something that had a less than 1% chance of happening. On August 2nd, 2021, my husband noticed Bennett’s gums bleeding. My stomach dropped as I used my own skills to give him an informal exam and found symptoms consistent with leukemia. He went to see Flynn’s doctors Monday morning and I found myself in the exact same position as 9 months earlier. We were being told that now Bennett has leukemia too.
Both of our sons had cancer.
I thought I’d felt all the hits that I could, but here we were; how could this be possible. We were about to feel normal and now we were starting all over, but with another child. We questioned so much… Why? How? Were the boys somehow identical, because that could explain it? What about our daughter? How do we protect her?
During the summer of 2021, as Flynn neared the end of active treatment and into maintenance, he was able to finally become a kid again and go to Horizon Day Camp. This was the opportunity we had been waiting for-Flynn, Bennett, and Nellie to be back together again every day having fun and being kids. Horizon Day Camp gave us this opportunity! When Bennett was diagnosed in August, we had to pull Flynn and Nellie out of camp abruptly, and they were all very upset. I remember receiving emails sending good thoughts from Horizon administrators and offering to help however they could. Horizon continued being there for us through sending gifts, providing opportunities for us to come together and support all kids with cancer. Through all the challenges, Horizon Day Camp has been a place that provided some comfort and normalcy amid a situation that was otherwise far from normal.
Today as I sit here to write this, Bennett is currently doing great, and is beginning the phase of treatment right before maintenance. Flynn has been going through maintenance since August. We had Flynn undergo his lumbar puncture for day 1 maintenance the same day Bennett was undergoing a bone marrow biopsy. It was probably the number 1 worst day of my life. Finally, after some bumps along the way, Flynn’s maintenance is steadily moving along as expected. Flynn, Bennett, and Nellie recently enjoyed a drive-in movie night hosted by Horizon, which was such a fun event coming off some pretty rocky weeks. They are already singing “Horizon Day camp, it’s the best camp” as they get excited for their second summer at Horizon. My husband and I are really looking forward to seeing the three of them be kids and enjoy everything horizon day camp has to offer- making new friends, having new experiences, swimming, eating ice cream, singing/dancing/crafting, attending carnivals, playing on inflatable slides, and more surprise days!
I don’t know what the future holds for our family, and I have learned that the most important thing is the here and now. But I do know that no matter what we will continue to endure, the support we have around us will keep us going. Horizon Day Camp is a family that we have joined, and they have become an essential piece of “Flynn’s Army” and “Bennett’s Brigade.”
Join Flynn, Bennett, and Nellie at HorizonWALKS this year! In 2020, they won for the Most Spirited Ravens costume contest!
It's easy to see why!
We Walk So They Can SOAR!
Horizon Day Camp and all Sunrise Association Day Camps are not-for-profit 501(c)3 charitable organizations, and all donations are tax-deductible under federal guidelines. Horizon Day Camp is affiliated with some of the most renowned hospitals and medical centers working in the field of pediatric oncology, including Children's National Hospital (Washington, D.C.), Johns Hopkins Medicine - The Sydney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore - A Lifebridge Health Center, and the University of Maryland Children's Hospital.
Teams and Walkers