When actress Bridget Moynahan first visited The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, she met a teenage camper named Aleks who despite losing his leg to cancer managed to climb a rock wall and into her heart.
Moynahan helps Aleks share his inspirational story of challenging perceived limitations alongside other campers coping with serious illnesses in an online “Healing Feeling” story, which was released today as part of a special series celebrating the 25thanniversary of the Camp that Paul Newman founded in Connecticut.
“You see these kids completely fearless, getting involved and going beyond what they ever dreamed they could do,” says Moynahan, star of the CBS hit drama “Blue Bloods” and blockbuster films such as “I, Robot” with Will Smith. “That is what’s special about this place – [Camp is] giving them the freedom to experience everything they want to do.”
Moynahan has visited The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp each of the past two summers as a volunteer and also been active as celebrity ambassador in helping to raise awareness for the Camp and its programs. Her friend Aleks feels that Camp provides a fun and supportive environment, which has allowed him to challenge himself and try new things.
“I think Camp… takes away that roadblock of I have this disability and I can’t do it,” Aleks shares in the two-minute video. “If you can get past that mentality that I have an illness and you see the fun in life and…have fun with everyone else that has those problems, I think that’s something special.”
The story of Aleks is online here and is the second in a series of “Healing Feeling” stories being released during the Camp’s yearlong 25thanniversary celebration. Grey New York, which serves as the Camp’s pro-bono communications agency, provided production and marketing assistance.
In 1988, Paul Newman opened The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut so that children coping with serious illnesses could have a special hideout where they could simply be kids. The Camp, which served 288 campers its first year, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012-13 with 20,000 children and family members now experiencing “a different kind of healing” annually. Each year, 2,500 are served onsite and 19,000 visits by the Hospital Outreach Program bring the fun and friendship of Camp into more than 20 locations throughout the Northeast – all free of charge. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is celebrating this milestone with events and initiatives that will gather the Camp family together and invite new friends to support Paul Newman’s dream.