Camp News
Camp Stories

Family Matters

By Hannah O’Briant

July 3, 2019

Victory Junction not only brings joy to children living with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses, but it also gives the families of these children comfort in knowing that their child is in a safe and supportive community. 

Tim and Michelle Welborn heard about Victory Junction through the grapevine and decided to attend a family camp weekend before committing to sending their daughter, Lilly, to a week-long camp over the summer. They had never left the care of Lilly in anyone else’s hands overnight besides with family, so they were skeptical. However, they were amazed by the organization and soon applied for camp for the following summer in 2014 and Lilly has been to camp every summer since then. The Welborn family has a passion for Victory Junction and wants to give back to this camp that has done for them. Tim Welborn, Lilly’s father, realized that he could donate his time by joining the Board of Directors for Victory Junction. This summer is Lilly’s older sister Logan’s first time being a camp counselor and uses time as her form of donation as well. 

Logan and Lilly are very close sisters with a special bond that they share between each other. “She has really taught me a lot about life, especially to appreciate the little things,” Logan said. 

Lilly started having seizures when she was five months old. She was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, which is a rare form of epilepsy that is uncontrolled and drug-resistant.  This syndrome requires constant care and it only continues to progress and get worse. Every seizure is treated as though it’s an emergency before going to the hospital to get treated. Because this syndrome comes with dome developmental delays, the Welborns can’t depend on Lilly to tell them when something is wrong.  

Logan could see the fear in her family’s eyes during each seizure and started to develop anxiety. Her anxiety, she explained, was related to the guilt of being the ‘healthy’ child. She didn’t understand why she was allowed to just be a normal kid and her sister, Lilly, had to handle living with this diagnosis. Thankfully, Logan found music as a coping mechanism for her anxiety and still uses it to this day to relieve any stress and worry in her life. 

Victory Junction allows the family of campers to take some time for themselves for a few days without having to worry about the medical needs of their child. “It’s been something special to Lilly, but also to our family,” Logan explained. 

It was difficult for the Welborns to trust others to take care of Lilly the way they always have, but the memories and laughter Lilly takes from camp make that task just a little bit easier. Their family is so caring for one another and we are overwhelmingly grateful to have them as part of ours.

The dedication and passion in the Welborn family, and many others, is what helps drive Victory Junction year after year.