Char­lotte, 9, be­comes a men­tor

Central Leader - - NEWS -

It was ‘‘Thank you to ev­ery­one. to­tally worth it.’’

That’s the mes­sage from quadru­ple am­putee Char­lotte Clev­er­leyBis­man who’s just got back from from Camp No Lim­its in Maine, United States.

The an­nual camp pro­vides ed­u­ca­tion, men­tor­ship and sup­port to chil­dren from around the world cop­ing with limb loss.

Cen­tral Leader read­ers were among Sub­ur­ban News­pa­pers’ fol­low­ers across Auck­land who helped raise $10,154 to get Char­lotte there.

The money rolled in af­ter a $5000 do­na­tion by the Mad Butcher and Sub­ur­ban News­pa­pers Com­mu­nity Trust kick started the fundrais­ing drive for Char­lotte and her fam­ily in June.

The trip cost $25,000 and the last minute push raised the re­quired bal­ance.

‘‘I want to say thanks to ev­ery­one who sent some money in,’’ 9-yearold Char­lotte says.

‘‘I went on a rock wall and a kayak and I went swim­ming.

‘‘I didn’t re­ally want to walk on my blades, but I did. One day it was so hot I ran into the wa­ter. It’s eas­ier tak­ing them off than it is putting them on again.’’

Char­lotte caught up with her friend and men­tor, Amer­i­can ath­lete and triple am­putee Cameron Clapp who mo­ti­vated her dur­ing a sim­i­lar event last year.

And she also found men­tor­ing oth­ers.

‘‘This time at camp I taught my new friend Fer­nanda how to walk.

‘‘It felt like I was Cameron be­cause he helped me – so I helped Fer­nanda and also Jeremiah, an­other boy.’’

Char­lotte’s mum Pam says the

her­self ex­pe­ri­ence stirred you can think of’’.

‘‘There were a lot of kids there who’d had menin­gi­tis like Char­lotte. Fer­nanda and Jeremiah had both had it. They were younger and strug­gling.

‘‘She was able to be a men­tor to them. You can’t put a price on it. It’s amaz­ing.’’

Pam says the camp ex­pe­ri­ences set the kids up for life.

‘‘Char­lotte is be­ing a per­son we haven’t seen be­fore. She has brought back a ma­tu­rity we couldn’t give her.’’

Char­lotte has gone back to school with­out her power chair.

‘‘She is run­ning on her legs, but it doesn’t take much for her en­ergy to go. We have to work on her fit­ness, and give her cool-down times. Our goal is for her to be able to do a whole day. The teach­ers are now hav­ing to re­cre­ate sup­port around her needs,’’ Pam says.

Pam and Char­lotte’s dad Perry also want to thank ev­ery­one who helped Char­lotte get to camp.

‘‘It gives us hope for the fu­ture.’’

‘‘ev­ery emo­tion

Photo: PERRY BISMAN

Best friends: Char­lotte Clev­er­leyBis­man, 9, is re­united with her friend and men­tor Cameron Clapp at Camp No

Lim­its in the United States.

Go to cen­tral­leader.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to see Char­lotte and Cameron Clapp run on their blades at Camp No Lim­its.

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