Kids Share Friendships Formed Through Victory Lane

Being a child with special needs often means fewer party invitations and the loneliness that comes with feeling left out. Through Victory Lane, Victory kids with special needs find friends who care, support, and include. Partner kids, who don’t have special needs, learn compassion, flexibility, and the importance of embracing differences. Victory Lane donors make the unimaginable become reimagined through summer camp sessions and regular events, where kids find common ground and build friendships that last. 

Caden, a Victory kid, attended the first Victory Lane summer camp session with his family and connected with many new friends.

“The Smiths, the Browns, and the Youngquists… they are sweet and amazing,” Caden noted. His parents Dara and David continued: “We have seen many friendships form through Victory Lane. The love and support we find within this group is comforting. We always have people to call on… just an extension of family that is irreplaceable.”

One of Caden’s friends is Isaac, who also started attending camp with his family from almost the beginning of Victory Lane. Some of his favorite memories from camp include the campfires, skits, and meeting new friends.

“I have learned to be kind to ANYONE, disability or not. Just be kind,” Isaac shared. In addition to Caden, Isaac has formed friendships with other Victory kids. “Luke Shlink… I LOVE him. Alex (Carey) is a pretty cool kid, one year he invited me and my dad to hang with him at his cabin during camp.”

Noah, who has served as a partner kid, expressed that some of his favorite memories include spending time with Alex (Mills) and his family. “Just because you have special needs doesn’t mean you’re different,” he added.

Alex (Mills) loves the chance to be independent from Mom and Dad and especially likes spending time with Noah and his family.

“Noah was super helpful walking around with him and helping out when Mom and Dad had other activities to do,” said Alex’s mom Jennifer. “Alex has such a great time at any Victory Lane function, he loves feeling like all the other kids, getting to play and have fun with his friends. And we have learned that it’s ok to need time with other adults and not feel guilty spending time away from Alex.”

As Victory Lane prepares for this year’s summer camp sessions, there is still a need for more Partner families. When families join Victory Lane as partner families, they give their kids a chance to form meaningful friendships that last. For more information about becoming a Partner family, visit