Nicole Wilson (left) was far from an ordinary girl. She was one of the happiest girls I have ever met. I personally knew Nicole for the 9 years she has been coming to camp and watched her grow into one the most incredible young people I have ever met. I know it is a cliche thing to say that you never saw someone when they weren't smiling, but this is an absolute fact for me with Nicole. Never once did I hear her complain, never once did I see her frustrated or angry, all I ever saw on Nicole Wilson's face was all the joys and beauties that life provides for us everyday.
Nicole was an inspiration. Even on the days when I thought I was having it rough and there were no ways that a smile could crack between the corners of my mouth, Nicole would come along and tell a quirky joke, or make an observation about how beautiful the day was and suddenly all you could see from corner-to-corner of my mouth was pearly whites.
But let's not be mistaken here, Nicole definitely had a diva side to her, but only in the best way possible. Whether it was being covered in glitter or having the latest stuffed-animal backpack, Nicole always knew what she needed to have a good time. And Nicole was always like this.
Nicole also knew how to have a great time at Camp Sweeney and more importantly, she knew how to help everyone else have a great time too! Nicole was constantly in 1st and 2nd Period Aerobics, and would always tell (not ask) the activity counselor that they would dance to AT LEAST five One Direction songs per class period. Soon, this small, daily One Direction song party turned into a class period, where instead of Aerobics, the class had a complete 1D dance party under Nicole's direction.
Clearly, Nicole developed an appreciation for the inherent ability of music to move people. Music is an integral component to the energy and livelihood of any large gathering of people, as is the case with a Camp Sweeney summer. Many One Direction songs serve as examples of the positive and uplifting sounds that fill the air at meal times, dances, and cabin parties. Music helps to cross the bridges of uncertainty that some of Nicole's peers feel about their diabetes, and in turn brings them together to create an atmosphere of acceptance and fun where kids can relate to one another, dance together, and be confident and joyful, like Nicole.
Of course one of the staples to Nicole's life in recent times had been her love of One Direction. The first time I ever heard about One Direction was from Nicole. She started singing one of their songs and I asked her what she was singing and she told me in every detail possible about the One Direction song "Story of My Life" that she was singing. There is no doubt in my mind that it would be an incredible moment for One Direction to reach out and make #SingForNicole a reality as that hashtag is now trending in the US.
More than any other song, Nicole LOVED "Story of My Life" and I think it would be a beautiful tribute to the incredible story of Nicole's life to have One Direction dedicate their performance of "Story of My Life" in Dallas to Nicole Wilson and all that she stood up for.
How can YOU get involved?
1. Tweet @OneDirection using the #SingForNicole and share why they should.
2. Get your friends, relatives, and favorite celebrities to do the same
3. Help honor Nicole with a scholarship for a new camper to experience all the joys of Camp Sweeney that Nicole cherished and loved so much. Help us continue her legacy by donating through this fundraising page to send AT LEAST one child to camp this summer in memory of Nicole!