Health Team

Camp is geared towards children with chronic illnesses

Posted July 22, 2010

— Camp Kaleidoscope has long been a tradition for some young patients of Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center.

The children who are invited there have chronic medical conditions that most camps aren't equipped to handle.

“If you ever get sick, we've got like lots of doctors here, so that's why I like this camp,” camper Tyrus Rice said.

Doctors, registered nurses and medical students make sure campers get their daily medications and keep a close eye on each child.

Camp geared towards children with illnesses Camp geared towards children with illnesses

“It's been great. It's been like a non-stop learning experience, and I love it,” Duke University medical student Donna Simmons said. “It's like the continuity of care that we don't get in medical school.”

Duke pediatric resident Dr. Brian Tinch is in his fifth year with the program.

“To me, it's just uplifting to see these kids able to live life to the fullest,” Tinch said.

Campers are dealing with illnesses including heart disease, asthma and sickle cell anemia, he said. Some patients have even had bone marrow transplants.

The camp gives the children a chance to relax and have fun. They go swimming, boating, play games and enjoy daily hikes.

“It’s like going to a normal camp, but then adding even extra fun,” camper Joseph Watkins said.

The camp is held at Camp Graham on Kerr Lake for three weeks in July. Each week is targeted to a different age group.

The camp is free to attend because of donations through the children’s hospital.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jul 26, 2010

    Way to go! :-) If humans don't help other humans, nothing will get done...children will continue to get sick and die, often at a very early age and they will have no relief in their short lives. Great job, humans.

  • teachnow Jul 22, 2010

    This is a wonderful experience for these kids. My great-niece attends and has for several years. She has arthritis and these couselors, doctors nurses and all have been great! She has told me how much fun it is to be with other campers that understand what she is going through. Good job!