From ages 5 to 18, with personalities and interest as varied as they come, our campers share two things in common: they have serious illnesses, and incredible spirits. They are the reason Flying Horse Farms exists, and the inspiration for everything we do.

JEFF

Twelve-year-old camp veteran Jeff Cambell’s t-shirt says, “I’m just one big ray of sunshine.” But behind his soulful kilowatt smile is a history of frustration, hospital visits, and emotional roller coasters.

In March 2010 Jeff had an intense bout with headaches. Unable to find a clear cause for his symptoms, many doctors, family members, and friends thought he simply had a severe virus. After a CT scan and an MRI, Jeff was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, an invasive and rapidly growing tumor in his brain.

Over the next two years, Jeff found himself in and out of the hospital, including a recent three-month period of being confined to a hospital bed. Jeff remains hopeful despite physical pain and exhaustion. “He’s always had such a positive attitude,” says his father Joe.

Today Jeff’s cancer is in remission, yet he continues to battle the side effects of treatment—including hearing loss, vision impairment, and having to use a walker. “You don’t see the last page of the book yet,” says his dad. “We have to take our time and help him stay encouraged. He’s already dealt with so many different obstacles.”

At Flying Horse Farms, Jeff is known for his ability to make even the most composed camper giggle. He has a long list of jokes stored in his memory and is always willing to chat.

“Once he gets here, he can just see the love and the fun he’s going to have,” Joe beams. “His fears just fade away. He does things at camp even he didn’t know he could do. He’s open to new ideas and experiences, instead of being cooped up in the hospital.”

Indeed, Jeff does try everything at camp. From archery to swimming to Angie’s Arts and Crafts (and, naturally for the pasta-lover, chowing down on camp lasagna), Jeff is constantly on the move.

“I love this place because of everything I can do,” Jeff says. “I have a blast here.”