A team member who recently answered the call to be a bandit was former camper and counselor, Amanda Garbatini. When Amanda was 11 years old she was diagnosed with a rare leg tumor in her left calf. Her world was turned upside down when she had to trade normal 11-year-old activities for hospital visits, chemotherapy and surgeries. She felt lonely, sad and scared, until a summer at camp changed her life forever.
"Before I went to Camp, I felt very isolated. My friends and family couldn't relate to what I was going through," Garbatini said. "During my first week at Camp, I met a girl my age that had a tumor in her leg just like I did. We shared an instant connection and in that moment I knew I wasn't alone. Meeting other children who have been through similar experiences has a healing power beyond words."
Amanda's four summers at camp helped her through her own illness and a leg amputation. She is now the Volunteer Coordinator for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and works full-time as part of Camp's development team. This year, she joined Team Hole in the Wall and used her participation in the Disney Marathon as a fundraiser for Camp. She took first place in the hand cycle division of the Disney Marathon and raised over $2,500 for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.
"When I think of Camp, the first word that comes to mind is magic," Garbatini said. "Camp has incredibly positive energy and an atmosphere that really speaks to the children; it keeps them happy and laughing through some of the worst times of their lives. It gives kids a chance to play, be silly and just be kids again. I love being a part of Team Hole in the Wall and helping to make this happen."
To join the team and be a bandit, visit www.teamholeinthewall.org and register for the event of your choice. Team members receive Team gear, invites to pre—and post-race parties and Team Hole in the Wall receptions.
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp provides "a different kind of healing" to over 20,000 children and families coping with serious illnesses each year. 2,500 are served onsite and 19,000 visits by the Hospital Outreach Program bring the fun and friendship of Camp into more than 20 sites throughout the Northeast – all free of charge.