Dear Dr. Lok, I really want to thank you for the wonderful gift of a 1 week vacation to Camp Dorset. Truth be told, when I got the news, joyful tears came to my eyes! We could not believe the great news.
Years ago, I used to dream of trying the experience, I love nature, but never thought it could happen because of the limitations of doing dialysis. It was beautiful to wake up to the mist all around in the beautiful camp, seeing the random animals on the street, and within the trees, like tortoise, fox and cute deer. I ate smores for the first time by a bonfire, saw so many stars, and I swear, the milky way too, paddle boated, and saw my child kayak, really, that had me in awe, seeing her actually going out there onto the lake, paddling away. I cooked fish fresh from the lake, and had my little niece and nephews play in the lake water, my Jessica even picked me a sweet smelling yellow lily pad flower from almost the mid point of the lake! I bonded with wonderful other families, met George a fellow patient, who further showed us such a great time, and was quite the inspiration, and we had the most awesome nurses, filled with life, humour and kindness, not to mention, pretty Helen Lao!
The little town of Dorset was icing on the cake. No one looked at me and stared at the catheter on my chest, making me feel weird, but rather, they actually got excited and welcomed me in, like I was family. I was greeted with, “Hey! Are you from Camp Dorset?” My husband or father helped cut down trees to clear for the space, I painted some efficiencies 45 years ago, my dad’s picture is on the wall by the swimming pool…I became so overwhelmed by their welcomes, hospitality, and great privilege to meet them and hear the awesome stories of how Camp Dorset came to be, that I just cried at now knowing the pride and care that a community had in doing this, so that families like us could be able to enjoy the great outdoors, and have an affordable time to bond. I am in love with the people out there, and felt so alive in the outdoors, every day was a treat to behold such beauty. It made you forget whatever struggles endured in the past. I was just happy, and so was my child, and family. Even hearing the laughter of the other children just warmed my heart as they played, some barefooted in the grass, and learned tricks.
Dr. Lok, we cannot thank you enough for such a gift, it made me wake up, I feel more alive, useful, and gave me the courage I needed to go out there and live again, to discover what I can do, in this new life! I send you warm embraces, thank you for nurse Helen Lao, she, like this wonderful magical place is now dear to me and are part of those memories that make you smile all over. Camp Dorset for us has become a sentimental place built with care. I am so humbled by such a gift, in gratitude it brought me tears of great joy, and the aftermath is a lasting impression of an adventure that my child and I shared together. That was a dream come true! We will never forget this special gift from you.
Ever so sincerely,
Leah Griffith and family