Summer camp for children battling kidney disease in Tennessee

Nonprofit offers 24/7 medical staff

By Seena Sleem
CNN image

(WTVF) - Lyles, TN -- For many children battling a chronic illness, attending summer camp usually isn't an option. But one special camp in Middle Tennessee is making it possible for children with kidney disease.

From June 8 to 14th, children from ages 6 to 18 can attend Camp Okawehna in Lyles. The camp provides on-site medication, dialysis, and has a 24/7 medical staff. This allows campers to do outdoor activities, attend prom and and even participant in a derby car race in a safe, supervised environment!

"It's a great thing really," said Andy Parker, the camp director, "It's an opportunity to provide a camp environment for children who normally wouldn't be able to experience it because of their disease."

More than 9,800 kids are living with kidney failure in the US. Children living with kidney failure are 30 times more likely to die than an otherwise healthy child.

These kids battling kidney failure often miss out on opportunities because of doctor appointments or because they simply don't feel well.

"They're receiving treatment at camp that whole week," said Parker, "that's why we can provide that normal camp experience because if they go to a normal summer camp they're not getting that type of attention or medical necessity they have to have."

This camp is made possible through donations, both monetary donations and supplies. Supplies can include items like arts and crafts material as well as prom dresses. The camp is hosted by Dialysis Clinic Inc., a non-profit dialysis provider. The camp director says they still have openings for campers in the Nashville area. To learn more or to donate you can, click here.

You can also contact the camp director directly: Andy Parker, Phone: (615) 327-3061 Email: CampO@dciinc.org

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