After I returned from my last year attending Camp Del Corazon I was overwhelmed with make up work and current work. One of the first major assignments was to write a Narrative Essay in English class. We had to pick from twelve different writing options taken directly from college essay prompts. The prompt I chose is; 'Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?'
... It's like you're asking me to write about camp especially since it's the only thing I can think about recently!
I'm haven't received a grade yet but of course, I'm hoping for an A! So without a further ado, here is my final narrative essay:
Home Sweet Home
According to the Merriam Webster Learner’s Dictionary, the word “content” means: “pleased and satisfied.” Personally, I think those words are understatements to describe how I feel at the place I feel ‘most content’. Camp Del Corazon is my childhood wonderland and my home sweet home; it is a world of acceptance, joy and the only place I feel normal or in other words ‘content’. Camp Del Corazon is a non-profit organization which provides an annual summer camp on Catalina Island for kids living with heart disease.
When I was born in 1996, I was born with the slightest heart murmur. Six months later, I was hospitalized and diagnosed with a severe case of dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart is weakened and enlarged resulting in a lack of blood flow. Shortly after being listed for a heart transplant, a heart became available to me and I was transplanted on January 29, 1997. From that point on, aside from taking a dozen medications, living with noticeable scars all over my body, looking forward to quarterly cardiology appointments and annual heart biopsies, I was like any other normal kid.
Once I enrolled in grade school I realized my everyday lifestyle was different when I was excluded and titled as the stereotypical weird kid in my class. Ten years ago, before my cardiologist introduced Camp Del Corazon to my family and I, I lost all confidence in myself. I didn’t have one friend at school and quite honestly, even though it saved my life, I was ashamed of my scars and medical history. Suddenly, I was going to camp; nervous yet excited, and ready to meet many kids just like me. By the end, I made a cabin full of friends, I experienced many new things, and most of all, I created memories that I still remember to this day. From that point on, Camp Del Corazon became the catalyst to the silver lining of my obscure life.
In fifth grade, I developed Post Transplant Coronary Artery Disease. By seventh grade my condition destabilized, leaving me with one option: re-transplantation. After four months of waiting, I received the call for a heart and was re-transplanted on July 6, 2009. I credit my constant optimism throughout that entire time period to Camp Del Corazon. Despite my illness and restrictions, Camp Del Corazon kept me motivated to return home and grow healthy so I could once again step foot on the pacific camp grounds.
During middle school, I met my two best friends outside of camp. They were supportive, unlike the rest of my so-called peers in the student body, but they still did not understand my condition. If the public noticed my scar or witnessed me taking medications, I felt judged by the looks of strangers. At Camp Del Corazon, I could talk in medical terms and everyone would still understand me and my health condition. Most importantly, I’m able to be myself and feel accepted because I’m not seen any differently since we have all undergone similar experiences.
Since then, I have had zero complications and I honestly believe my current circumstances wouldn't be so substantially absolute without Camp Del Corazon. It has positively impacted my perspective, changed my outlook on life and has metamorphosized my confidence and self-esteem. I have every ounce of pride put into my heart condition and I’m devoted to raising awareness for organ donation, Congenital Heart Disease and the organization I owe my life to: Camp Del Corazon. Everybody should have a place where they can feel accepted, can be themselves, and can create memories. Fortunately enough for me, I have a place where I can feel such contentment.