Camp Simcha has been supporting Abigail Marin for over 10 years. Over the coming months, she will be sharing her experiences with us via a new blog and on our social media channels.

POST 1: Introducing myself

Hello, my name is Abigail Marin. You may have seen me in various Camp Simcha advertisements and their awareness film recently. So I’ve decided to give you all a bigger picture of myself and share with you some parts of my journey that led to Camp Simcha becoming a big part of my life. Over the coming few months I will be taking over their social media from time to time – but firstly a bit about me!

To cover the basics, I am seventeen years old and go to Hasmonean High School! Let’s go a bit deeper though…over ten years ago I was diagnosed with a tumour and even though my doctors managed to remove it my life hasn’t been quite the same ever since. This is because unfortunately the surgery to remove my tumour didn’t fully go to plan in terms of the impact on my face, so I have needed a lot of medical interventions and hospital support throughout the years.

Since I was younger I’ve been in and out of hospitals and Camp Simcha made the experience more comfortable. Camp Simcha provided me and my family with loads of things. For example, kids/family retreat was a mini-break away from home from all the stressful things we go through. Another thing they provided was a Big Sister volunteer who would visit me whilst I was in hospital which would cheer me up during a boring time.

More current!

Once my tumour was taken out I was told that when I’m older (fully grown) I will have something called “facial reconstructive surgery”. I’m super excited that I’ve now finally reached that point where this can actually happen. This feels to me like the final phase of my journey of being labelled as an ill child which for me represents me moving to the next phase of my life.

When I started to think about how long my journey has been, I realised that Camp Simcha has been one of the most positive things that came my way during this challenging period.

Therefore, I thought that this is a great time to ask Camp Simcha how I can give back to them in my own way. We came up with the idea of me doing a series of blog-like posts about my experiences both with hospitals and with Camp Simcha. Through this, I hope to show some of the perspective of what a Camp Simcha kid may go through.

Was great chatting with you, see you next time!

Photo credit: @Kate_Swerdlow_Photography