A Revolutionary Idea

In 1975, the Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation came up with a revolutionary idea — a sleep-over summer camp program for children with chronic kidney disorders. The kidney campers receive dialysis treatments in the state-of-the-art Ruth Gottscho Dialysis Center located in the camp’s new Guenther Family Wellness Center.

Today, when you visit the Frost Valley YMCA camp in New York’s Catskill Mountains, you see hundreds of kids swimming, boating, horseback riding, playing volleyball and more. As you look around, you’d be hard-pressed to pick out those who receive dialysis treatments as part of their routine. And that’s the whole idea. During their two-week stay the focus is less on their disease and more on meeting new friends, participating in camp activities, and gaining self-confidence and self-esteem.

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Take a moment to watch CBS video on the benefits of Camp


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“I’m able to associate with kids my own age.”

In 2015, Justino was a first-tine kidney camper with chronic kidney disease. His counselors were impressed with his outgoing personality and rapid adjustment to camp. After lunch in the camp dining hall, he was happy to explain why he liked Frost Valley so much.

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“Can I go back next year, Mom?”

That was the first thing Patrick asked when he got home from the kidney camp program at Frost Valley. Since he was seven, Patrick has been hooked up three times a week to a dialysis machine that does the work his kidneys can’t. He was never able to be too far from home until he went off to sleep-away camp. “I noticed a big change in him when he came home,” said his mother. “He seems so independent now.”

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“Frost Valley has been good for us both.”

That’s what Alisha’s mother said after her daughter’s first camp experience. Alisha was diagnosed with kidney disease when she was four years old. She never had much of a childhood; the hospital was her second home.
Dr. Rick Kaskel, Alisha’s doctor at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, is the medical director of the kidney camp program. He assured Alisha’s mother that Frost Valley offered the same, high-quality care that Alisha received at the hospital.

Alisha came home very excited about her two weeks at camp, and her mother benefitted as well. “Alisha was stronger than I gave her credit for. Her experience gave me courage and confidence, too.”

RGKF NEWS

The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation

Our sleep-away camp program at the Frost Valley YMCA in the Catskills is the only one in the country where kids with kidney disorders get the dialysis/medications they need on-site and live with and do camp activities with regular campers. Since the program began in 1975, over 1,800 "kidney kids" have benefited from this life-changing experience. To donate, visit our website www.gottschokidney.org/donate
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney FoundationFriday, June 26th, 2020 at 3:59pm
We need Frost Valley and right now Frost Valley YMCA needs us! Please consider making a donation at FrostValley.org/donate
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney FoundationSaturday, June 13th, 2020 at 8:00pm
It is with great sadness that I tell our Foundation friends that Bob Eichinger, my wonderful husband for almost 50 years, passed away yesterday from liver failure and a virulent bacterial blood infection. During the three weeks he was in Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, N.J., he received excellent care and died peacefully in their hospice unit.
-- Judy Eichinger

To make a donation in Bob's memory, please visit www.gottschokidney.org and click on the "Donate" page.
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney FoundationWednesday, May 13th, 2020 at 11:58am
An important video from Frost Valley's CEO, Jerry Huncosky
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
Frost Valley YMCA
As you may know, last week we made the unprecedented and heartbreaking decision to cancel summer camp. We invite you to watch this video message from our CEO Jerry Huncosky for our camp families. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney FoundationSunday, April 12th, 2020 at 9:53am
We wish a very happy Easter to those who are celebrating the holiday.
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney FoundationWednesday, April 8th, 2020 at 11:32pm
Happy Passover to our Jewish friends.
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney FoundationWednesday, March 18th, 2020 at 5:39pm
Cancellation of This Year's Kidney Camp Program
Due to COVID-19

It is with a heavy heart that we tell you this summer's kidney camp program has been cancelled due to the Corona Virus. Below is a letter Maya Doyle, Senior Social Worker/Camp Coordinator at Children's Hospital at Montefiore, and Dr. Rick Kaskel, the program's Medical Director, sent to this year's registered kidney campers and their families.

In addition, here's a good resource for kidney families that Dr. Kaskel helped put together: https://nephcure.org/2020/03/guidance-on-covid-19-for-pediatric-kidney-disease-patients/