I had wanted to go sailing on a sail boat all of my life, so when I saw that as an option with Survive and Thrive I signed up. I didn’t read the fine print, I didn’t really care, and I was going to have the chance to go sailing! But I ended up wait-listed and forgot I even signed up. Months passed (around 6 months to be exact!) when I got an email that changed my life.
The email from the lovely Bonnie Lang told me I had been wait-listed for this camp and now a spot had opened up! If I could pay the deposit and get myself to Campbell River Canada in roughly 8 weeks then I could go. My dream: sailing. Please realize I still didn’t know anything else about this trip and honestly didn’t care.
I had a few things to figure out like getting my passport (which I didn’t have, but no matter what, I was going on this trip. Ha!) I also needed a plane ticket to Campbell River which is 4 hours drive from Vancouver CA. So hours after I agreed to go, I sent in for the passport, which if everything went smoothly should only take 6 weeks max to have in my hands (plenty of time!) I decided to risk not applying for the rush passport, and then 1 week after I sent everything in they sent it all back because I hadn’t signed the forms (not my finest moment). So that exact same day it came back I filled out the paper work again payed more money (grrrr) and sent it all back express mail and said a prayer. I had my passport in my hand 2.5 weeks later, with weeks to spare.
Getting to Canada presented with a lot of options, the first was driving my car, which was quickly ruled out because we weren’t really positive it could make it that far. Flying was option B, flying to Vancouver is not very expensive from Portland (where I flew out from) but flying to Campbell River adds quite a bit, and it being such a last minute for a flight I just didn’t have the money, which is where Cassie Hines Shoes Cancer Foundation came in. I had to poke and prod multiple doctors to get the form filled out, but I am not sure I would have made it to Canada without CHSCF.
A few days before I left I got a package in the mail, it was a large box with my name hand written on it and a return address I didn’t know. I quickly opened it to realize it was full of goodies from CHSCF. Goodies I would with have not been able to afford or not have thought to purchase myself. It was the box that just kept giving.
It was a trip I will never forget, we sailed from Island to Island every night, sleeping in tents. We ate off of a camp stove, and drank instant coffee. We got soaking wet and saw amazing stars. We saw starfish by the thousands and watched dolphins dance for us. We sat together next to a campfire pit we had to make every night telling stories and laughing. It was hard and life changing, and I had known I was camping I probably wouldn’t have gone. But do I regret going? No, not at all.