Camp to host kids with cancer, blood disorders

To be held July 18-23 at Camp Happy Valley in Scott Depot

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – About 60 kids with cancer and blood disorders will gather in Scott Depot on Sunday (July 18) and forget their health problems for a week at the annual Camp HemoVon and WINACA.

Camp HemoVon, formerly known as West Virginia Hemophilia Camp, is a free week-long camp for children ages 7 to 16 who have a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia or von Willebrand disease. Camp WINACA (Children WINning Against CAncer) is a free week-long camp for children ages 7 to 17 with cancer. The camps are fully accredited through the American Camp Association and are operated by the West Virginia University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.

“When kids get cancer or are diagnosed with a blood disorder, many of them think they are the only one in the world with that problem,” Elizabeth Kurczynski, M.D., camp medical director and pediatric hematologist/oncologist at the WVU Department of Pediatrics Charleston Division. “But here there’s a sense of community and a sense of belonging regardless of a child’s diagnosis.”

Last year, 53 kids attended Camp HemoVon and WINACA. They not only represented West Virginia but Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland as well. Anita Graham, camp director, said they established a good working relationship with the people at Camp Happy Valley last year. “The kids loved the ropes course and the climbing wall,” she said. “They provide a lot of activities for the kids.”

The cost to run the camps is approximately $30,000 (or $500 per camper). This amount covers the cost of 60 campers and includes meals, accommodations, supplies, training and related expenses. Camp staff members volunteer their time and services. There is no cost to campers to attend.

This year, the West Virginia-based Jonathan Powell Hope Foundation has promised to match every dollar donated toward the camps up to $12,500 per year. Donors are invited to visit the camp on July 21 for an ice cream social and dinner.

For more information on the camps, including how to provide support and visit on July 21, contact Anita Graham by phone at 304-293-1217 or by e-mail at agraham@hsc.wvu.edu.


For more information:
Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 07-15-10

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