Camp News
Camp Stories

Running Back Home

By Elizabeth McCurry
September 9, 2022

Meet Haleigh

“And no matter where we go, we always find our way back home.” This is a quote from a popular song called “Back Home” by Andy Grammar that reminds a lot of people of VJ. That sentiment is especially true for Haleigh Epperson and how she refers to Camp. Haleigh is actually considered one of Victory Junction’s very first campers. In fact, you might have seen her picture taken when Camp was being built. Her story begins when she was 5 and was diagnosed with a rare form of muscle cancer. Shortly after her diagnosis, Haleigh met the Petty family and learned about the camp they were building to serve children with complex medical conditions like hers. Haleigh attended a camp session during Victory Junction’s very first summer, and since then she has done some really awesome things, including beating cancer. Haleigh made sure to come back to Camp over the years and has held many roles, serving as a volunteer, an intern, and even a camp ambassador.

“Victory Junction is HOME to me.”

This year Haleigh is supporting Camp through the Run to Victory, an event she has participated in since 2017. Her very first time doing the run was with her college softball team and coaches from UNC-Pembroke. Everyone rode on a bus together for the two-hour ride to support VJ, since they knew how important Camp was to Haleigh. When she talks about it, Haleigh always says that, although the experience was so overwhelmingly positive, the best part was being able to see her friends and teammates fall in love with Camp.

Haleigh Epperson at Victory Junction
Haleigh at Victory Junction in 2015.

This year, Haleigh’s team, coincidentally named Running HOME, will consist of Haleigh of course, her aunts, uncles, godparents, and friends. There are even some people running the race virtually who can’t make it to run in person – even friends as far as South Africa!

When we asked Haleigh why she continues to come back and run for this event, she said, “I run for Victory Junction because Camp saved my life. I run for all those who can’t. For the friends I lost, the family that have supported me and for all the kids yet to come. I hope everyone that steps through the gates of Camp feels the same way I do, a place they can call HOME!”

Haleigh Epperson at Victory Junction
Haleigh at Victory Junction in 2015.

Haleigh’s story is an overwhelmingly positive one, and embodies the reason why we hope you will join us on Saturday, September 10th, 2022, for the Run to Victory. All money raised goes to support VJ’s mission to serve kids with complex medical conditions. and so that more kids can get that feeling of coming “home” when they come over the hill and see the hot air balloon water tower the next time.