Local firefighters visit teens at MDA Summer Camp

Published: Jun. 3, 2019 at 5:32 PM CDT
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This week is the best week of the year for some local kids who live with neuromuscular disease. They are at "Camp For All" for the next few days, where kids say they can truly be themselves.

On Monday the kids got a glimpse into the life of a firefighter.

"It’s easily my favorite week of the year," said College Station teen Peter Ramirez.

Ramirez has been to "Camp For All" seven years in a row, but this year is his last.

Teens like Ramirez are embracing new opportunities this week and say they feel empowered.

"The one time a year where we can just be free and be away from our family at home and just be with our friends, people like us and have a good time," Ramirez said.

Every child is there free of charge thanks to the "Fill The Boot" fundraiser local firefighters hold every year for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

First responders from ten different departments were at the camp Monday, including College Station and Bryan.

"That's what it's about. It really does make it personal. That's the reason why we do this. We love our kiddos," said Daniel Buford with the Bryan Firefighters Association.

Kids say this week allows them to be themselves and not have to worry about feeling out of place.

"Honestly, I can't put it into words because it's such a special thing and it's a once in a lifetime thing," said Sugar Land teen Allie Aldrich.

But the kids aren't the only ones leaving with special memories.

"There's kids in the community that are affected by this but to be able to see their reactions, the happiness they're experiencing this week is just a blessing," said Jacob Prazak with the College Station Professional Firefighters Association.

College Station and Bryan Fire Departments are both holding their "Fill The Boot" campaign this year on the weekend of the Texas A&M versus Alabama football game in October. They hope to raise enough money to pay for more local kids to go to "Camp For All" next year.