Our Escapes encourage families by creating positive memories for parents, children, and siblings through carefree, stress-free activities. Outings such as a night out at the circus, a day at the ballpark, or a weekend at camp, helps to connect families with other families – and kids to other kids – so they feel less isolated in their medical journeys.
“I love coming to enCourage Kids events because they make it all fun – no matter what kind of problem you have,” says Fikirte, an enCourage Kid who has enjoyed many events, including a weekend at Camp Pontiac. “Sometimes it helps to just have fun and to meet new people.”
Kaileigh, another enCourage Kid, agrees. “Seeing other kids with this disability – or different disabilities – it’s nice to connect with them. It makes me feel good and kind of special.”
Escapes are also great for siblings to connect with each other. And for Molly, an enCourage Sibling, she loves being able to see her brother act like a ‘normal 13-year-old boy’.
“My brother was diagnosed with a rare, fatal brain disease. We’ve been to almost all of the events and I love it. [My brother] is normal at these events. Usually he gets looked at because he’s different. You can tell that there is something wrong with him. But when we come here he’s just like one of the other kids.”
And for the parents, Escapes are an opportunity to see their kids experience laughter and joy, rather than pain and sorrow.
“After a summer of pure medical hell that was no fun for Joshua, or anyone in our family, your offers for fun this fall have allowed us a ‘do over’ for the fun that we missed (this summer),” shares Erica, an enCourage Mom. “The hockey games have been a blast for our Devils fan, but Disney on Ice was amazing. He was standing and twisting his body in his wheelchair, all with a huge smile. Seeing him experience joy rather than pain gives both me and my husband the greatest joy.”