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In 2008, the Ruth Gottscho Dialysis Center moved from cramped quarters in Frost Valley’s old medical building to a spacious wing of the new Guenther Family Wellness Center where each kidney camper receives individualized treatment. Campers may have chronic kidney disease not yet needing dialysis; some may be on hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis; others may have had a kidney transplant.

Maya Doyle, renal social worker/coordinator at Montefiore, gathers all the information necessary to ensure each kidney camper enjoys a safe, enjoyable camping experience. There can be 20 to 30 pages about each camper’s background and medical requirements.

The camp program gives kidney kids a sense of normalcy they don’t have at home -- a sense of self-confidence, a feeling of “I can do it.” They make friends in ways that may be difficult at home, where they often miss school and other opportunities to interact with their peers.

The program also benefits regular campers and counselors who come away with a sense of empathy and compassion after a visit to the dialysis unit. And the program gives kidney kids’ families a break from the daily stress of caring for an ill child. Parents know that at Frost Valley their children will be cared for in a modern facility staffed by renal experts.

 For details, eligibility requirements and an application, go to frostvalley.org/sleepaway-camp/dialysis.html 

Getting to know kids with kidney disorders enriches the lives of everyone – campers and staff




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