REST IN PEACE AMBER TOWNSEND. Amber and Taisey were the two campers who officially became my ‘original shadows’ at Camp Good Days and Special Times in 2004. My first summer at CGD, Amber and Taisey were eleven years old. Taisey was in remission and Amber was still undergoing treatment for Osteosarcoma (the same cancer her cousin Taisey had). Amber was the first child I had ever become close to who was undergoing treatment for cancer and just being her counselor gave me a new view on the disease. Taisey soon relapsed and Amber began to get better. However, Amber then relapsed in 2010, the doctors stating that her cancer was terminal. She passed on February 9 after having numerous seizures that day due to treatment.
This is the hardest part in being in love with Camp Good Days and Special Times – watching campers suffer and pass away. However, I know that Amber loved the years she spent at Camp. She always vented to me and felt comfortable telling me her problems – family related, relationship related and the topics a young girl should never discuss, but did. We hadn’t been in close contact over the past few years, but I always tried to stay in touch. Her cousin, Taisey, has always remained close with me. She always comes to me with her problems and reminds me how fragile life is. Now, we all need to realize what’s truly important in life. Not the drama over relationships or getting a ‘C’ on an exam. Not what we are going to wear out to the bar or who is talking about who. It’s the life we live that matters from day to day. We all need to realize that and see through the un-needed fog of day to day issues.
Like all of my campers, Amber was a fighter. She went through more than many people can understand or realize. Everyday, I wake up and think about my brother – about his life and the life he would have wanted to live. Now, I’m living for my brother, my campers who have passed and Amber – one of the original girls who changed my life.