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Donor Hero Camp unites kids who lost someone who saved another through organ donation

Campers return June 20-25 at Jameson Camp
Posted at 6:15 AM, Jun 03, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — Many summer camps are back this year after the COVID-19 pandemic ruined plans in 2020.

At least 40 campers will call the bunks at Jameson Camp on the west side home from June 20-25 when the Donor Hero Camp gets underway. It will be a big switch from last year's camp.

"Yeah, so last year due to COVID and restrictions that it encompassed, we had a one-day camp for kids in October only," Indiana Donor Network's Courtney Tillotta said.

Donor Hero Camp is for those who lost someone in order to save the life of another. It's for the families of donor heroes made possible through the Indiana Donor Network as part of their Children's Support Journey program.

Bryce Hackman's mother, Tammy, saved four people through organ donation.

"So, my mom was a donor," he said. "She donated her lungs, both her kidneys, her liver."

At Jameson Camp, campers get to share their space with other campers who have stood in their shoes.

"I think it's a chance for the kids to be able to talk to each other on their own level instead of having to answer adults, you know, and talk to them because that's a different type of feeling, I'm sure," Tilotta said. "The way we feel and do our grief and how they do their grief is totally different."

There's still space if you know someone in need. Tilotta said 11 more spots are remain open.

"So I encourage any donor families out there who are interested in their children attending, go to our website," she said.