MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. — Nothing lifts your spirits, quite like lifting someone else's.
That's what they do every day at MDA Camp.
"It's somewhere where you're not defined by your disease," said 17-year-old camper Olivia Holler.
Olivia has congenital myopathy which causes muscle weakness and breathing difficulties.
" I was in denial, I struggled with it a lot," she said.
But for one week every summer, it's all but forgotten. The focus instead is on fun and friendship.
"Being a teenager is hard enough," said Chancey Vetter, a volunteer counselor. "And then with drama and being picked on in school and everything and then you come here and they come out of their shell because they don't have to deal with any of that."
At any given moment you might find kids doing anything from fishing to swimming.
None of this would be possible without people like Ron and Doug Bristow.
Ron, a retired firefighter has been volunteering at MDA Camp for 29 years.
"When I first came here the kids would pass away. Now they're going to college, raising families of their own. It's wonderful, "says Ron.
Years ago one camper said to his counselor 'You know what the best thing about MDA Camp is? No one laughs when I fall down.'
There is no magic pill yet for these kids with Muscular Dystrophy, but there is a little magic one week every summer.
Said Doug Bristow, "One camper said 'You can't really pick the cards you are dealt but you can choose how you play them.' And it's inspiring me to see how these kids, every day, play their hands to their fullest and really soak in the experience they have here."
MDA Camp, letting kids be kids. One week with memories that can last a lifetime.