Caleb attended Winter Games in the spring of 2015. A 15-year-old from Aurora, Colorado, Caleb suffers from an optic glioma, a tumor of the nerve to the eye. This form of tumor often occurs as one of the central nervous system manifestations of Neurofibromatosis 1, which Caleb is also challenged with. He is essentially blind in his right eye, and is rapidly losing vision in his left eye each day.
Facing these debilitating illnesses as an adolescent, a time when even healthy teens struggle with drastic emotional and physical changes, is no easy feat. Caleb suffers from decreased motor control, compromised balance, hearing, a lack of energy and some learning delays.
In the face of all of these challenges, Caleb chooses to laugh. This amazing young man brings bright light and energy to every room he enters, armed with a half dozen jokes at any given moment. Caleb also enjoys writing- he has even published his own book about sharks! At Winter Games in 2015, he composed the following poem, and share it with all of us on Banquet Night.
The Skiing Poem by Caleb S.
Going to the top of the mountain so I can ski-
one way I can really be me.
Going down the hill-
that makes me feel free.
The energy, the rush
these things, you can't have too much.
The helmet, goggles, and coat-
a sit-ski is like a mountain boat!
This week is full of excitement and fun
having a blast under the sun.
Do I regret going down the hill, then back up the slope?
All I have to say is, "NOPE!"
Offering children like Caleb a chance to feel like themselves again, to feel free, is one of the many reasons that Shining Stars exists.
We recognize the tremendous struggle that these children have been forced into, and seek to acknowledge the sheer energy that it takes to wake up each day and fight their battle. In return, we seek to give these children HOPE- to show them all they are capable of doing and reflect the inner strength we see shining so bright beneath the surface.
Will you help us show children like Caleb what it feels like to be free? Will you help us remind these kids what living truly feels like? Sponsor a Shining Star today. Click here.