Run-D.M.C. member and Hip Hop pioneer Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels first found out that he was adopted in his mid-thirties. The experience led him to later co-found Camp Felix, an upstate New York camp that helps form bonds among young foster children. D.M.C. recalled the moment in which he first found out he was adopted.
“I was hurt, confused…it felt totally unreal,” he told NY Daily News. “At the time it meant that they are not my mom and pop.”
Camp Felix, which gets its name from an imaginary dog that was raised by a family of cats, was also co-founded by “Sopranos” casting director Sheila Jaffee, who was also adopted. The Felix Organization donates $500 for each camper. Actor Mark Wahlberg also supported the camp, giving $100,000.
“These kids say, ‘I am just a foster kid,'” explained D.M.C. “‘I have nothing going for me other than just being miserable.’ I tell them, ‘You are wrong. Your situation doesn’t define who you are.'”
Last week, 171 foster children attended the camp and a few hundred more have had the opportunity to attend and share their experiences. In addition to sharing stories about their lives, the young campers are able to experience a close-knit unit that they may not have had before.
“We are a family,” D.M.C. said.