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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Local youth attends Camp Riley

Friday, June 27, 2008

(Photo)
Cody Coffman
KIM PUCKETT

Summer Intern

Nicknamed Lightening McQueen by his cabinmates for his adept motor scooter maneuvering skills, Cody Coffman, Coatesville, spent one week of his summer attending Camp Riley.

Cody, 11, has been a patient of Riley Hospital for Children since birth, suffering from spina bifida and seizures. While the average summer camp may not be possible for Cody, Camp Riley allows him to participate in physical outdoor activities

According to his mother, Wendy, Cody looks forward to the camp for physically disabled children held at Bradford Woods in Martinsville every year.

"He loves Camp Riley because it's easy to make friends and no one makes fun of anyone else," Coffman said.

During the summer camp, Cody and the other children participated in outdoor activities such as swimming, bicycling and horseback riding. On Challenge Day, children were encouraged to set goals for themselves in one or more of the activities.

As part of his challenge, Cody scaled walking path deemed "Cardiac Hill." Cody also swam across the entire lake and rode an adapted bicycle, completing all three of his personal goals.

Cody has attended the summer camp twice and participated in one reunion in the fall. According to his mother, Cody is anticipating this year's festivities.

"He is really looking forward to the reunion this fall," Coffman said. "It's a great chance for the kids to catch up with the friends they made at camp and a weekend break for the parents."

According to Coffman, raising a child with a disability consumes the entire life of the parent. A weekend off is sometimes beneficial.

Parents can also have anxiety about sending their children to camp for a week.

Camp Riley's staff attempts to ease worries with daily updates of the camp's Web site (rileykids.org/camp) with pictures.

"Parents can see their children through the week and the activities they are doing," Coffman said. "They are also really good about calling with any concerns or problems."

Coffman is also eased because of her trust for the Riley staff, gained through her eleven years of experience with the hospital.

"It gives me piece of mind knowing that the doctors and nurses at the camp are so qualified," Coffman said.

According to Coffman, Cody would love to attend Camp Riley again, but because of financial constraints, that might not be possible.

"Cody wants to go to the two-week camp next year," Coffman said. "But even with help from the Spina Bifida Association, the money out of pocket can get pretty pricey."

With his Lightening McQueen certificate, accomplished personal goals and new friends, whether he attends the camp again or not, Cody Coffman left Camp Riley with more than just memories.



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