Kids are just kids at epilepsy Summer Camp
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
EPILEPSY FOUNDATION OF FLORIDA SENDS KIDS TO CAMP
Opportunity Made Possible Through The Wasie Foundation’s Grant of $75,000
One hundred and thirty-seven children who suffer from epilepsy were treated to a memorable week at summer camp, hosted by the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF). For the 13th consecutive year, Camp Boggy Creek was opened to the campers, many from at-risk and under served families, where they safely enjoyed activities of a “traditional” camp, including arts and crafts, boating, fishing, theater, horseback riding, swimming and archery. The camp is a permanent, year-round facility on 232 acres of tall pines, majestic oaks and nature trails designed specifically for children with chronic or life threatening illnesses. Here, the campers enjoy each day filled with experiences that are memorable, fun, empowering, physically safe and medically sound.
“Children who have chronic conditions such as epilepsy spend a great deal of time and energy coping with strict medical regimens,” said EFOF Executive Director, Karen Basha Egozi. “This week provides them an escape from the stress of dealing with their medical conditions by trying new activities that help develop their independence and improve self-esteem.”
Vivian Rivera-Haynes agrees. Her 15 year-old son John was diagnosed with epilepsy at age nine and has been attending Boggy Creek for the last three years. “Prior to attending camp, John was not really exposed to other kids with epilepsy, so he had no one he could relate to,” said Rivera-Haynes. “Seeing others at the camp, of all ages and forms of the disorder, changed that and really boosted his overall self-confidence, in a lasting way.”
Because of the financial toll that falls upon families dealing with childhood epilepsy, EFOF provides a scholarship for each child to attend the camp. This includes camp tuition, roundtrip transportation, and pre- and post-camp activities and reunions for the children and/or parents and siblings. This year, EFOF was able to provide these services in part through a generous donation of $75,000 over three years from The Wasie Foundation, a philanthropic organization that provides grants to South Florida non-profits focused on healthcare and education.
“Dealing with childhood epilepsy is difficult because of the stigma attached,” said Gregg D. Sjoquist, president/CEO of The Wasie Foundation. “We support the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida and its Boggy Creek program because we have seen the tremendous difference it has had on the lives of its campers and their families.”
For information/registration for the Summer 2010 camp session, please contact your local EFOF office (phone numbers below).