This is Elsa.
- She loves to dance
- She’s a big fan of Frida Kahlo
- She’s really good at making daisy chains
- She loves her pets
- She really likes zebras
And...Elsa has some health conditions.
The biggest thing you should know about Elsa is; she doesn’t let her symptoms define her. “It doesn’t matter”, she says.
Elsa counted down the days to camp, and one of the first things she said on the way home was: “we need to make sure other children can go to these camps”.
Elsa has multiple serious health conditions that cause symptoms including hypermobility, dizziness, spontaneous anaphylaxis, tummy issues and severe rashes. Elsa won’t let anything hold her back – in fact, she’s spent years building up her strength through dancing and acrobatics, and has won medals in dance competitions. “I’m really flexible and work very hard. I’m really good at it!” she told us proudly. Her parents work hard to make sure Elsa’s personality shines brighter than any health condition: “Elsa is Elsa, who happens to have Ehlers Danlos syndrome and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome…she isn’t our disabled daughter.” Elsa talks openly about her symptoms and treatment, but she also loves to demonstrate what she’s learned in her dance classes and talk about the books she’s been reading.
Despite Elsa’s sunny approach, life can be difficult. She can go into anaphylaxis very quickly, and her parents have had to call ambulances so often that they often know the paramedics. Elsa’s little brother, Barney, also has allergies. Daily life means juggling their different diets, so it was a relief to discover that everyone is catered for at camp, and there was nothing to worry about. At Over The Wall, only the medical team know specifics about health conditions, and no one asks questions or makes assumptions. Everyone is seen for who they are. For Barney, camp was a chance to meet other children like him, who had seen their own siblings unwell or in ambulances. Before camp, he hadn’t realised there were so many families like theirs!
Please donate £10 today to help children like Elsa and Barney find a sense of belonging at camp.
From the minute she heard about Over The Wall from one of her nurses, Elsa was spreading the word. She video-called relatives to show them the leaflets and tell them where she was going, and what she’d do there. Elsa counted down the days to camp, and one of the first things she said on the way home was: “we need to make sure other children can go to these camps”. She even launched her own fundraising challenge, with a share a smile campaign on social media.
Elsa is already counting down the sleeps until she can return to camp, but we need your help to ensure children like her can keep coming to camp, discovering who they are outside of their illness and thriving in a safe environment.