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For Immediate Release

Aloha Means Goodbye as Campers Depart for Children’s Hospital’s Luau-Themed Summer Camp for Transplant Recipients

Fox News correspondent and liver donor Catherine Herridge will see Children’s campers off

Scores of young transplant recipients from around the world are coming to Pittsburgh for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s annual summer camp for transplant recipients. The campers will have a special send-off this year.

Catherine Herridge, a Fox News correspondent who donated part of her liver to her infant son, Peter, during a live-donor transplant surgery at Children’s Hospital and UPMC in 2006, will share her story with more than 40 recipients and their families at approximately 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 8, 2008, at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, 4215 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

Camp Chihopi (short for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh) is a summer camp organized by Children’s Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation for children ages 7 through 17 who have received a liver and/or intestinal transplant.

Following Ms. Herridge’s remarks, the campers will say goodbye to family members and depart for the 14th annual Camp Chihopi, which will take place from Friday, Aug. 8 – Monday, Aug. 11, 2008, at the Emma Kaufmann Camp on Cheat Lake near Morgantown, W.Va.

Patients will come from throughout the nation and as far away as the Middle East for this four-day camp, where campers can enjoy a traditional summer camp experience with activities like swimming, horseback riding, kayaking, campfires, sports and more. This year’s camp will have a luau/beach party theme and includes a dance where campers and staff will try to outdo each other with their creative beach-themed costumes for the annual “Best Costume” award.

Camp Chihopi offers these young transplant recipients a traditional summer camp experience, but it also offers them something unique — the opportunity to discuss their hospital experiences, scars,  and medications with other patients who have received transplants.

“Camp Chihopi gives our patients a sense of belonging because they can see firsthand that there are many others children just like them. Over the last 14 years, we’ve watched something remarkable happen. Our older transplant recipients are volunteering for staff positions and continuing to attend camp as they attend college, work at their first jobs, or even begin their families. The younger campers see the potential for a happy, healthy life as they grow and mature, even though they have had a transplant,” said Beverly Kosmach-Park, MSN, CRNP, camp director and clinical nurse specialist in the Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation. “This year, 20 of our 23 volunteer counselors, assistant counselors and counselors-in-training are themselves transplant recipients.”

Camp Chihopi is an example of the family-centered care provided by Children’s and the Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation. Children’s established the nation’s first pediatric transplant center in 1981 under the guidance of transplant pioneer Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD.

Contacts:

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016, Marc.Lukasiak@chp.edu
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016, Melanie.Finnigan@chp.edu


 

Last Update
November 16, 2013
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Last Update
November 16, 2013
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