Paloma has been resilient since before she was born. Surviving a stroke while in her mother’s womb, she was later diagnosed with vision loss, cerebral palsy and seizure disorder.
Doctors warned Paloma’s parents that she might not walk or talk, but her parents knew in their hearts that their baby girl would soar far beyond anyone’s expectations. That is why they named her Paloma, which means “dove” in Spanish. And true to her name, Paloma has soared, indeed!
At 19 years old, Paloma dances, skis, rides horses and even runs. She has a lot of friends and lives her life fearlessly. But she wasn’t always the confident girl she is today. When Paloma was 13 years old, even more so than many girls her age, Paloma felt like she was different.
Paloma was self-conscious about appearing blind and refused to use her white cane even if it meant she might trip, fall or injure herself seriously. She also needed a lot of help doing things for herself. So, her mother enrolled her in the teen session at Camp Bloomfield, where Paloma blossomed.
At Camp Bloomfield, the disabilities that made her feel different seemed to disappear among other campers who shared similar experiences. Camp counselors helped Paloma try new experiences that challenged her physically, mentally and socially. She tried Paralympic sports, like goalball, took care of her own needs at camp, and performed in the campfire talent show.
Each year that Paloma attends camp, she achieves new levels of confidence and independence.
“I learned that having a visual impairment isn’t so bad,” Paloma reflects. “I’m capable of achieving so much more than I ever thought, thanks to Camp Bloomfield.”
Paloma faces the future with optimism and excitement. We look forward to seeing what she does in the future!
Update: Paloma attended the first-ever virtual Camp Bloomfield in 2020!
Read more inspiring stories from our blog: David’s Story of Resilience
November 30, 2017