Channel Three Kids Camp walking to raise funds for camper in need of van

Camper Dakota Fortier is in need of a new van. (WFSB)

Counselors from the Channel Three Kids Camp are hoping to raise enough a van for a disabled camper.

Dakota Fortier is almost 13 and is headed into seventh grade.

He has a rare form of muscular dystrophy and needs a new set of wheels to get back and forth to school.

About 20 counselors from the camp in Andover are walking to Mohegan Sun in Uncassville Friday night to raise money for the van.

"My counselor Danny Johnson and friends of the Channel Three Kids Camp are walking to [raise funds] to help my family get a better van than the one we have," said Fortier.

Fortier met Johnson last summer at camp.

"He's absolutely amazing. He suffers from muscular dystrophy, the George syndrome and he has a hole in [his heart]. Sp when he turned up for muscular dystrophy week, I only assumed that was the only condition he had, but he has a background of other ones," Johnson said.

When Danny went back home to England he kept in touch with Dakota's parents on social media.

"We travel the whole state, we bring out the awareness of muscular dystrophy," Fortier's mother Cheryle Elliott said.

The family ravels all around Connecticut in this 14-year-old van to go to events and doctor's appointments for Fortier.

Aside from the lift no longer working, the ceiling is leaking; so Johnson decided to do something about it.

"The more I got to know them the more I realized how difficult their lives really were. They constantly support Dakota. They do a million fundraisers a year so I figured it's time to give something back," Johnson said.

The van that Fortier's family is looking at costs about $2,500, and his GoFundMe page currently has about $750.

"He's Mr. Happy, he's always ongoing. He likes people, he likes outside, he likes the outdoors," Fortier's Dad, Dale Elliott, said.

The counselors are walking almost 30 miles or nine and a half hours with a pit stop in Willimantic to attention to the cause.

"In terms of our special needs camp, out of the campers he's probably the most fun loving kid I know. [While] he can't communicate very well he's always smiling, he's always having fun and he loves camp, and he sort of embodies that spirit of why campers come to camp," said counselor Daniel May.

Fortier will head to the Channel Three Kids Camp this Sunday for a week of fun.

If anyone would like to help Dakota get a new van, a GoFundMe page is available here.

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