Summer Camp Experience Possible Through Donor Dollars
For many children, the traditional summer camp experienceóhorseback riding, campfires, being away from home for the first timeóis part of growing up. But for some children, traditional summer camp isnít always possible because of health restrictions caused by chronic illnesses.
Thankfully, because of dollars given through Community Health Charities (CHC-NE), children with chronic health issues are able to attend medically-specific camps, which not only give them a summer camp experience, but also allow them to meet and spend time with other kids who share the same needs and experiences they do.
If you are interested in attending or volunteering at a camp, here are five that CHC-NE member charities are offering this year:
Camp SuperKids, American Lung Association (402-502-4950). June 14 to June 20 at YMCA Camp of the Okobojiís in Storm Lake, Iowa.
MDA Summer Camp, Muscular Dystrophy Association of Nebraska (402-390-2914). June 14 to June 19 at Camp Comeca in Cozad, Nebraska.
Camp Tap-A-Vein-A-Day-A, National Hemophilia Foundation, Nebraska Chapter (402-742-5663). August 21 to 23 at the Eastern NE 4-H Camp in Gretna, Nebraska.
Camp Oasis,Crohnís and Colitis Foundation of America, Nebraska/Iowa Chapter (402-505-9901.) July 27 to August 1 at One Heartland in Willow River, Minnesota.
Camp Spirit, Arthritis Foundation, Heartland Chapter (402-330-6130). June 14 to June 20 at YMCA Camp Kitaki in Louisville, Nebraska.
Michael Oliver was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimerís disease in his mid 50ís. He recently had undergone heart surgery and was being treated for other chronic ailments, so it took his physicians some time to sort out what could be causing his memory loss, confusion and other personality changes.
Michael Oliver was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimerís disease in his mid 50ís. He recently had undergone heart surgery and was being treated for other chronic ailments, so it took his physicians some time to sort out what could be causing his memory loss, confusion and other personality changes. His wife, Linda, was coping with the changes in her husband and trying to assist him as he became unable to perform the management level job he had held with a Lincoln firm for many years. Michael had always been meticulous, both at work and the job, taking pride in how he kept their home and yard.
Now he seemed to overreact when he could not accomplish a task. At work, his duties were changed to janitorial work. He no longer was managing other people in professional duties, and had to learn custodial tasks to stay employed. Linda and Michaelís world was literally changing in every imaginable way, and they were both under a great deal of stress as they tried to cope. Linda, who works as a stylist in a Lincoln salon, needed help in understanding what was happening; she came to a monthly evening support group meeting in Lincoln sponsored by the Alzheimerís Association, Great Plains Chapter. She found that support during a time where both she and Michael were not finding support from anyone in their lives.
The last three years were incredibly difficult for the Olivers prior to Michaelís death in early 2009. They dealt with a great deal of change in their lives together. The opportunity to visit with other people dealing with Alzheimerís disease was very helpful. When Michaelís disease had progressed to where he retired from his workplace, he was given a retirement reception, which meant a great deal to Linda, who wanted to preserve his dignity. Linda worked hard at coping with her husbandís disease. She learned to see the humor in some situations that may have made her cry a few years ago. The Alzheimerís Association, Great Plains Chapter, stood by Linda and Michael as they dealt with this debilitating illness.