Hello everyone. My name is Elizabeth McGlynn, but everyone calls me Lizzie. I have a rare disability called Joubert syndrome. Joubert syndrome affects the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination. In the past, I had trouble with things like walking, talking, and also little things like sitting up on my own, sipping through a straw, etc. I couldn’t walk and talk on my own until I was four years old. Before then, I used a walker to help me walk. To help me communicate, I used a talking device, or I would do sign language. I’ve had quite a bit of challenges over the years, some I’ve overcome, and some I’m still working on.
Currently, I’m a college freshman at AUM (Auburn Montgomery). I’m able to take regular classes and be in a regular college environment. The main struggle so far for me in college is making friends and feeling included. Having a disability when you’re surrounded by people who don’t understand can be really hard. There are some people who do understand, but it can be very hard finding those kinds of people sometimes. In some environments, I have a problem feeling like I fit in.
Camp ASCCA is a place where I feel like I fit in, can fully be myself without being judged, a place where I can easily make friends, and a place where I feel like having a disability is not a bad thing. Every summer I look forward to going to Camp. Camp is like a second home to me. I’ve been going for a few years now and each time I’ve gone it’s been great. I feel accepted, loved, and cared for.
Honestly, I’ve made some of the best friends at ASCCA. The people at camp are the most understanding, caring, and loving people I’ve ever met. I never picture them ever judging me or bullying me. They never fail to make me smile, laugh, and just feel accepted.
Besides the friendships I’ve made at Camp ASCCA, the activities I’ve done have been so much fun. I never knew I had the courage to zipline until the first time I did. I’ve never held a bunny until I did at the farm at Camp. I never knew I had the courage to pet a rooster or even a pig until a friend of mine pushed me to. I have found that I’ve gotten a little out of my comfort zone while at Camp.
Another thing I love about Camp besides the friends and the activities is the diversity. I love getting to experience the diversity at ASCCA. At Camp, there are all kinds of people with all kinds of different disabilities. I love hearing all of their amazing stories and the challenges they have overcome. I’m a person that is interested in getting to know people and their really amazing stories. Because of the diversity at Camp ASCCA, I have a large group of new friends. I haven’t met anyone at camp that has my disability, but that’s because my disability is so rare. I enjoy meeting people with different kinds of disabilities though.
I just love every single thing about Camp ASCCA!