Camp Allen had the pleasure of hosting Texas Chargers for their 2018 annual retreat. Over 245 people filled the halls of the conference center, hotel and All Saint's Chapel to spend a weekend with other families touched by CHARGE syndrome. For those of you unfamiliar with CHARGE syndrome, Texas Chargers, Inc. describes it as follows:
"CHARGE is an extremely complex syndrome, involving extensive medical and physical difficulties that differ from child to child. The acronym "CHARGE" comes from the first letter of some of the most common features seen in this syndrome:
Children born with CHARGE syndrome usually have numerous medical complications and spend significant time in and out of hospitals. The families are faced not only with caring for these children, but also with constant management and expenses associated with their medical care and therapies."
This is where the Texas Chargers assists families. They plan a two and a half day retreat for individuals with CHARGE as well as their parents, siblings and extended family members! This retreat allows for families to connect with other families with similar situations and also allows them to get away from the regular stresses of life. This is the first year to attend a CHARGE retreat for mother Heather Saucedo who shared:
"This has been a really positive experience for me. This is my first time around other CHARGE kids and it gives me a very calming feeling. I'm around people that my daughter and myself can relate to. The scenery at Camp Allen is really nice too!"
Another first time CHARGE retreat parent commented:
"This weekend my family and I were blessed to attend our first Texas Chargers Retreat/Conference to learn more about CHARGE Syndrome and connect with other families sharing our journey. I am usually very quiet and reserved around new people, yet this weekend I talked to anyone that would listen. It was beautiful to be among so many that understand my frustrations, fears and constant fatigue. I didn't have to explain the moments when watching my child do something new left me speechless, they already knew. They were my people. Their ears were open. They helped us. They loved my child without hesitation and allowed me to love their children. It was by far the best experience of our journey. My heart is full."
Camp Allen Staff even had the opportunity to talk with one of the Texas Chargers, Inc founding members, Cathy Springer. When asked how she feels about having the retreat here at Camp Allen she said:
" Camp Allen is such a special location and it offers a family-friendly environment. The staff provide consistent, high quality service and they have the rooms needed to accommodate all of the families and their specific needs. They always make our family feel like they are coming home and the food is really amazing."
This is the ninth year for Texas Chargers, Inc. to have their annual retreat here at Camp Allen and we are so grateful for the time we were able to spend with everyone in attendance. We look forward to seeing them in the Piney Woods again in the future!
If you would like to read more about CHARGE Syndrome and the Texas Chargers please visit texaschargers.org
Texas Chargers, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. They welcome and appreciate tax deductible donations at:
Texas Chargers, Inc.
c/o Becky Gibson
1310 Comal Dr.
Allen, TX 75013