HLC Chats With... Ashlin Pfeifer-Winborn!
Ashlin is a 16 year old sophomore in high school. She lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with her mom, 9 year old sister, and two cats. Her father passed away from ALS in 2015 and she has been attending Camp HLC since she was 9 years old and is now an HLC Young Ambassador.
(HLC): Do you have a nickname? How did you get it?
(APW): The only nickname I’ve ever really had was “Ash” because that’s the only name you can really put together with “Ashlin."
(HLC): What is your favorite childhood memory?
(APW): My favorite childhood memory is when my father and I would play with my stuffed animals.
(HLC): Camp HLC is one of our wonderful programs. Have you ever attended summer camp? If yes, what was your favorite memory about camp?
(APW): I have been attending the HLC summer camps in New Jersey since I was 9 years old. My favorite memory was making a friend with the other girl in my cabin when I was about 9 years old at my first camp. I loved being able to relate to someone who was my age. Both of our dads had ALS, so I definitely had a connection with her that I’d never had with anyone else.
(HLC): Who is your favorite musician?
(APW): I have many favorite musicians. I really like Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato because their voices are incredible and I can relate to lots of their music. I am also a fan of The 1975 and The Neighbourhood.
(HLC): Do you have a pet companion? If so, please share his/her name and what you love most about him/her.
(APW): I used to have a dog named Mia who was my best friend since I was four years old, until she died when I was in the eighth grade. Now, I have two cats, who are brothers, named Cookie and Frost. The thing I love the most about them is how funny they are. When they aren’t napping, they like to run around and chase each other. They also have a wonderful hobby of knocking plants over.
(HLC): People would be surprised to know that... (cool fact about you!)
(APW): I do Aerial Silks, which is something many people don’t know about. I’ve been doing it for about two years now and I absolutely love it. I also am very into music, especially singing. I definitely get my love for music from my father.
(HLC): What is one thing you can share with others about resilience and adversity?
(APW): When my father was diagnosed with ALS, I was about 7 years old. I spent the next years with nurses coming in and out of my house and my father not being able to do certain things with me anymore. When I was 11 years old, I got into a big fight with my best friend and lost her. Not too long after that, I lost my dad to ALS as well. Being at an age where you are learning about yourself and growing up to be a teenager, many things are changing. On top of that, I had to deal with the loss of my best friend and my father. I spent the next year or so feeling like things would never get better. Over time, things really did get better. I knew my dad would’ve wanted me to live a happy life and keep moving. So one thing I can say about adversity is that it is inevitable. Everyone goes through hard times no matter what. That doesn’t mean you should give up and lose hope. Everyone has resilience as long as they don’t give up hope.
(HLC): What's your go to person, book, or movie for inspiration?
(APW): My favorite person to go to for inspiration is my mother. She’s learned so much from her many life experiences, so she gives me great wisdom when I’m going through hard times. She inspires me to be the best version of myself and to never give up hope.
(HLC): Share something that you want others to know about ALS...
(APW): Since ALS is pretty rare, it’s not easy to find others who are going through experiences with ALS. It can definitely make a person feel like they are alone. To everyone who feels like this-please know that you are not at all alone. Reach out as much as you can because there are people who are going through what you’re going through.
Thank you Ashlin for participating in HLC Chats With and for being a wonderful and important part of the Camp HLC family, as well as our Young Ambassadors!