Local summer camp held for kids with heart disease

Local summer camp held for kids with heart disease

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 8 at 6:21 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There are the athletes, cheers from the crowd and of course always a winner.

But instead of representing countries, kids at the Camp Luck Olympics are divided into teams—the left ventricle, right ventricle, left atrium and right atrium.

Those are the four chambers of the heart, and most of the kids at Camp Luck have scars that cover their hearts.

The kids here all have heart disease.

“Sometimes when I really want to run I can’t run that fast,” said 9-year-old Summer McDowell.  “It’s actually good because I get to meet other people like me.”

Summer was born with two holes in her heart and has come to camp with her biggest cheerleader.

Big brother Nasir loves seeing summer around kids just like her.

“To see her running around having fun like this, it makes me happy. It just makes everyone happy to know that there are others out there with the same problems,” Nasir said.

A boy named Jacob made it all happen.  NewsChannel 36 met him in late 2010 at a fundraiser for the camp he helped create.  Jacob died from complications with his heart unexpectedly a few weeks after that interview, but his cardiologist, his family and his friends worked to make Camp Luck a reality.

Richard James was Jacob’s best friend and is now a camp counselor.

“It’s probably one of the most amazing feelings you can get to know you’re helping these kids do something they normally wouldn’t get to do,” James said.

For Jacob's mom, Kim Jackson, helping organize the camp is helping heal her own broken heart.

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