Finding Restoration and Refuge: The Upchurch’s Journey


Dara and David Upchurch are a blended family of eight. Noah is on the autism spectrum, and Caden was born with spina bifida. Through Victory Lane Camp (VLC), the Upchurch family connected with a community of people on similar roads in life, coming together to support one another. They discovered refuge, restoration, and hope.

Life before Victory Lane Camp is now a distant memory to Dara Upchurch. She described, “It’s hard to remember life before VLC. It was lonely. Life before VLC was very rocky. Our family was torn. David and I were on the brink of a divorce.”

Through the help of family crew chief Sarah Urwin, support of Paige Fischer, and a connection made with Jerry Ingalls, the Upchurch family found restoration at Victory Lane Camp. The journey wasn’t easy for the Upchurch family.

“It was challenging to begin with. And a little scary. Because you’re pushed to get out of your own little bubble and where you feel safe. We were pushed out of our comfort zones. The more you’re in it, and the more you commit, the easier it gets. The journey is getting more exciting and easier,” Dara expressed.

Through these experiences and adventures, each member of the family has made a personal connection with VLC. David enjoys the fellowship and positive relationships built with other families in similar situations. Noah’s favorite part is making new friends while Hunter’s is being able to help other kids.

Caden loves having play dates and Audrey likes the relationships made with others and feeling like she’s a part of another big family. Austin appreciates seeing people accomplish things they’ve never done before, and to Isaac, Victory Lane Camp means happiness.

After seeing the impact VLC has had on their family, the Upchurches continue to use their story, hope, and passion to help other families connect with VLC. Dara takes time to connect to other families and pull them in to new experiences. “I’m very passionate. That comes through to people, and I just tell them all about the exciting things that happen,” she explained. “I think because we are so involved and find it so exciting and fun, it brings other people on board. They want to be a part of it.”

The Upchurch family came to Victory Lane Camp in need of refuge. There, they found it and more. As they continue to grow and learn with the VLC family, they are ready for the next step. Dara expressed, “We’re up for more of the challenges and ready to reach out to other families because we believe in VLC, and we know that VLC’s purpose is greater than us, and we want to be a part of that.”

Find out how you can become part of Victory Lane Camp: