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.


When Macie Hysell first saw a commercial for Flying Horse Farms, she knew it was the place for her.

Diagnosed in 2005 with the extremely rare Common Variable Immune Deficiency, 14 year-old Macie doesn’t produce mature antibodies. The immature cells in her body make her especially susceptible to infection, which means a common cold can quickly land her the hospital.

“Her cells don’t fight off diseases,” says her mother, Renee. “When she gets sick, she gets really sick.”

Macie receives infusions of a special gamma globulin mixture twice a week to boost her immune system and fight infection. These antibodies are mixed together from labs all over the U.S., which means Macie can never travel out of the country. But that doesn’t stop her from going to camp.

“Camp is a chance for her to be with people like her,” says Renee. “Maybe they need a different pill or a steroid. But she is still the same as everyone at camp. And she has made so many friends.”

Macie is a regular at Angie’s Arts & Crafts (she has an impressive duct tape sculpture collection), enjoys the activity center, and loved the canine training program during her first camp experience. Most of all, Macie cherishes the strong bonds she’s made with other campers. Last year she attended her high school’s homecoming dance with fellow camper Matthew. He lives in Pennsylvania, so Macie and her family drove the two hours to pick him up for the dance.

“He was just hilarious in the car,” says Renee. “They have the same personality. They joke and tell funny stories together.”

It was Macie’s first high school dance and she had a blast. Macie hopes her family can soon meet Matthew’s family halfway between their hometowns to have dinner.

“Camp is a place where Macie can communicate and be with people,” Renee says. “There is no other place like Flying Horse Farms, and there’s nothing about it that she would change.”