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.


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.


“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.”


“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.”


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 FoundationWednesday, September 19th, 2018 at 4:25pm
It's #TalkLikeAPirate day! Enjoy some sunshine and see if you can find the treasure! A joke to get you started...

Q: What did the ocean say to the pirate?
A: Nothing, it just waved. 😂🌊🌊

#summercamp #kidneycamp #togetherwecan #curekidneydisease #swimming #buriedtreasure #allthesmiles
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney FoundationMonday, September 17th, 2018 at 1:30pm
We love the YMCA - it's #WelcomingWeek from now until Sept. 23 - stop by your local Y and make some new friends! #YforAll

#togetherwecan #curekidneydisease #kidneycamp #kidneykids #partnership
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Y
#WelcomingWeek at the #ymca is September 14-23. Check with your Y for local events and #CelebrateDiversity with us! #YforAll
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney FoundationSunday, September 9th, 2018 at 12:27pm
Yesterday, Abby's Porch at the Merrell Pavilion was dedicated at Frost Valley in memory of our former kidney camper Abigail (Abby) Trent who died in 2010 at age 19. When she was 16, Abby hiked eight hours up to the
Pavilion at the top of one of the Catskill Mountains highest peaks in the area -- despite having had a heart transplant, two kidney transplants and other health issues. She did it through sheer grit and determination.

Abby was a kidney camper for several years, and everyone
who knew her remembers her dazzling smile, infectious laugh, and outgoing personality.

First photo (l. to rt.): At the dedication were FV CEO Jerry Huncosky, kidney camp program coordinator Maya Doyle, Abby's parents Amy and Skip, RGKF chair Judy Gottscho Eichinger, and the camp's dialysis center medical director Dr. Rick Kaskel. Other photos include family friends, the dedication plaque, and Amy and Skip with Abby's photo.
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney FoundationThursday, September 6th, 2018 at 5:32pm
It's #nationalreadabookday - perfect for all those back to school vibes we have been seeing! Tell us in the comments below 👇 - what's your favorite book?

#togetherwecan #curekidneydisease #readingisfun #readingforeveryone #gooutside #backtoschool
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney FoundationMonday, September 3rd, 2018 at 3:51pm
Happy Labor Day! May you spend your day relaxing and dreaming of summer camp

#togetherwecan #curekidneydisease #kidneycamp #kidneykids #frostvalley #montefiore
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney FoundationWednesday, August 29th, 2018 at 11:29am
What a great idea for small spaces! Here are some plant ideas from Better Homes and Garden that thrive in the late summer/early fall.


#citygarden #smallspaces #fallgarden #healthyliving #growyourownfood #frostvalley #summercamp #kidneycamp #kidneykids #togetherwecan #curekidneydisease
The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation
Frost Valley YMCA
Do you ever wish you had a garden, but don't have a lot of space? Here are 10 really great ways to create an indoor hanging garden by upcycling common household items.