VANCE COUNTY, N.C. — When you are sick, things change. That is especially true for children with chronic illnesses.
For example, they cannot get into most summer camps because of medical liability issues. There is a camp that has welcomed these special children for years.
Swimming is what Maddie Barnes, 14, loves to do most at
"I've always loved to swim. People at home call me a fish," she said.
Jamell Daniels, 14, likes to pull harmless pranks.
"Sometimes we take people's underwear and hang it on the flag pole," he said.
Everyone at Camp Kaleidoscope has at least one thing in common -- they are all regular patients at Duke Hospital.
Maddie was born with a rare bone disease that has led to several operations on her left arm. Jamell has lupus, which has affected his kidneys.
"One of my friends has AIDS and another one has sickle cell," Jamell said.
The children can enjoy all that summer camp has to offer without their parents fearing the worst.
"We have physicians, nurses and other kinds of medical professionals here to take care of their kids while they're away from home," camp director Bill Taub said.
Camp Kaleidoscope is celebrating 25 years serving children with physical and medical needs. The children also need friends who understand them.
"'Cause you know, it's hard to find other people like me. You know, that has to go through the same things I do," Maddie said.
The biggest need for these campers is to forget about everything else just for a week and just have fun.
A big 25th year celebration and reunion is planned for Sept. 18. Anyone who has ever attended or worked at Camp Kaleidoscope is invited.