Ryleigh Williams is a 10-year-old girl, who has always dreamed of learning to surf. Ryleigh has epilepsy, and last summer was scheduled for brain surgery to control her seizures. The week before surgery, her parents wanted to give her a great experience, so they searched for a surf camp. When her mom found the Walking On Water camp, she reached out, explaining the situation. They welcomed Ryleigh to attend camp.

Ryleigh says “I was never allowed to go to a camp before because the were afraid of my disability. Walking On Water helped make my dream come true. I met people that will be life long friends at surf camp like Bryan and his daughter Ella. They are always in contact with my family asking how I am and they pray for my recovery. I will also never forget my friend Orion. He took the time to learn my story and in return he told me his story. He says my story touched him but his story touched me and helped calm my nerves before surgery.”

Ryleigh had surgery, though it left her right side with temporary paralysis. She says, “I am pushing myself to walk again so that I can attend Walking On Water surf camp again next summer!”
Ryleigh’s words to others who might be considering a WOW camp:”Walking On Water is a great surf camp. Even if you’re afraid of the water or get knocked down by a wave the staff and fellow campers will give you the encouragement you need to get back into the water.” And Ryleigh’s greatest lesson from camp? She says: “Through Walking On Water I have learned to always have a kind heart because you never know whose life it will change.”

Written by Monica Swanson • monicaswanson.com

Photos by Curren Taber • currentaber.com