Camp News
Camp Stories

Where Are They Now?

Hartley’s Story
By Alison D. Hedrick
September 18, 2019

Where are they now? Hartley's story

In 2014, we shared Hartley’s incredible story. It’s a video well worth watching a second time, or perhaps for the very first time. Watch Hartley’s Story.

So, where is Hartley now? Well, in 2016 Hartley came back to Victory Junction (VJ) one final time. Looking back on her time at VJ Hartley says, “I did stuff at camp I thought I would never be able to do.” “No words say thank you enough,” says Charles, Hartley’s dad. Now, Hartley’s passion is giving back to camp and allowing us to share more of her story is one of those opportunities.

Camper on paddle boat waving
During Hartley’s senior year of high school, she decided she wanted to go to college. “The experiences I had at Victory Junction gave me the confidence I needed to do this,” Hartley stated.

Charles and Lucy, now being able to put some of their hesitations aside, researched possible options for Hartley.

“Victory Junction helped me accept that Hartley can do things and gave me confidence to let her go off to college,” Charles said.

Fast forward to 2018, Hartley had a big year! Not only did she graduate from ClemsonLIFE, but having enjoyed her time in the town of Clemson while in college, she told her parents she wanted to make that area her permanent residence.

Charles and Hartley Plyler

Arrangements were made, and Hartley does now live there independently! In addition to these exciting milestones, through family friends, Hartley and her parents have embarked on a partnership with Davis Donut House. This employment opportunity will undoubtedly help Hartley continue to prosper.

As you see, this determined young lady has beaten many odds and accomplished great things throughout her life. From being told early on she would never be able to walk, to now living independently, Hartley is a true inspiration to us all. We are so proud of Hartley and grateful Victory Junction is a part of her story.

Hartley smiling
“My first thought when I arrived at camp for the first time was, ‘Wow! This looks fun!’ I was excited and happy. It was the first time I had ever felt like I was not the only one that had a chronic illness, and being with other kids who were like me made me feel like I wasn’t alone. Thank you so much for giving kids the opportunity to go to Victory Junction. It changed me and my family forever.” – Hartley, former camper

Your support of Victory Junction makes YOU a part of stories like Hartley's too! Without help from compassionate and generous individuals, we would not be able to provide experiences that build self-confidence, self-esteem and independence in our campers. You are incredibly important to the work that we do and we THANK YOU for being a vital part of the VJ family!