Building Friendships Through Victory Lane Camp

Dara and Sarah

Sarah Urwin and Dara Upchurch are both moms with busy lives and a deep love for their families. It was this love that drew them both to the Victory Lane Camp community.

Dara and David Upchurch have a blended family of eight. Noah is on the autism spectrum, and Caden was born with spina bifida. Caden was one of Brett Fischer’s pediatric physical therapy patients, and Brett invited the Upchurch family to attend the second Pace Lap Camp.
Sarah and Jason Urwin and their three children have been involved with Victory Lane Camp since the brainstorming days. Sarah has a degree in Special Education and helped orchestrate the plan for Family Crew Chiefs. Sarah was the Family Crew Chief for the Upchurch family, a role that eventually led to a friendship with Dara Upchurch.

“Dara is a strong woman who carries a great deal on her plate, along with her husband David,” Sarah noted. “She gets used to doing a great deal on her own, and my job the first week I met her was to plug into her world and help support her for the week. My hope was to build a bridge to help their family once camp was over. It became my joy, and a friendship was built.”

Since their connection at camp, Sarah and Dara have continued to grow together as friends. The families participate in each other’s activities like Miracle League games, birthday parties, camp events, and they even share childcare. Sarah and Dara serve together on the Events Pit Crew, the team that assists with the banquet, chili cookoff and other VLC community activities.

Serving on the pit crew has been a way to “give back to this organization that has been so great to our family,” as Dara explained.

“When our busy schedules allow, Dara and I have been able to go out together as friends just to relax, encourage, and edify,” Sarah shared. “I am very thankful for her friendship.”

Dara finds comfort in knowing that there will always be a shoulder for her to lean on. “Sarah was a blessing I desperately needed. She always has wonderful advice and truly cares about my family and myself. She understands me and is truly a dear friend that I am very thankful for.”

Victory Lane Camp helps families form life-long connections and a community of support. Many of these relationships begin in the camp setting.

“It builds a family type of connection, especially during the time at camp. When you see those individuals outside of camp, the connection is still there, and the monthly events are striving to keep that support in place,” expressed Sarah.

Dara’s family has been blessed by these connections and support. They are regular attenders of Victory Lane Camp activities throughout the year, and not just because Dara is on the Events Pit Crew.

“Being the parent of a special needs child doesn’t have to be a scary, lonely world. There are people out there going through this, or ones who truly want to help,” Dara said. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help and to accept help when offered. It has taken me a long time to accept that, and you never know what blessing can come from it.”