Dialysis and Summer Camp

Originally published in May but I want to make sure everyone with kids in dialysis has a chance to see this… if not this year, then next year your child can have a summer camp experience. 

It breaks my heart to think of children going through what I do or more. I’m an adult so, perhaps, I can handle it better.  I’ve done all those kid things.  But to be a kid and have to go to dialysis really cuts into those idyllic childhood moments such as Summer Camp.

smokies 1I spent some summers in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina when I was young.   We hiked, camped, star-gazed, and awakened to bright red dawns atop bald mountains with the morning fog filling the valleys below.  It was a classic childhood summer.  (When I added this picture, I realized it closely matched that on my blogsite heading.  No wonder I used that picture!  Those were the best summers of my life.)

But, because they are in dialysis or kidney failure, some children don’t have that experience and can’t go to a typical summer camp. However, there are many camps that specialize in children with kidney problems and cost very little (too often parents with a child in dialysis are financially strapped more than usual because of all the medical issues).  The L.A. Times published an article about kids and summer camp at Mammoth, California. You can read it here.

There are many states with summer programs for kidney kids.  Generally, you don’t have to live in the state to send your child there.  I’ve listed a few here for your consideration and there is an “all states” directory that may also help.  If you have a child with kidney disease or on dialysis, you have my heart-felt support.   I hope this is helpful.

Tennessee

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130613/NEWS07/306130038/Camp-Okawehna-takes-down-barriers-kids-kidney-illness

Pennsylvania

http://www.dciinc.org/camp2_info.php

New Jersey

http://www.frostvalley.org/camp/specialty-camps/kidney-camp/apply/

Maine

http://www.kidney.org/site/110/camp.cfm

Michigan

http://nkfm.org/kids-teens/kids-camp

Texas

http://campforall.org/directories/camp-shining-stars/

All States Directory!

http://www.transplantliving.org/pediatric/camps/

© 2013 DevonTexas

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About DevonTexas

I am a person with ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) which means my kidneys don't work. Forty or so years ago that would have been a death sentence but today there is Dialysis which means I can be hooked up to a machine that will clean my blood as the kidneys should. Three days a week, I go to a center and have too very large needles stuck in my arm to remove and replace my blood as it passes through a process where it's cleaned and the fluid is removed, a process taking a little over four hours each time. I want to advance knowledge about dialysis so that other patients can learn from my experience and mistakes. We shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, eh? There is so much to be learned and experienced about our predicament. There are vast resources available to support us and enrich our lives but many patients don't know about them. There are also many issues that we have to deal with whether we want to or not. So I blog about them. All comments are confidential until I approve them. If you don't want your comment public, let me know and I will respect that. So, feel free to leave a comment. Enjoy.
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