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For Immediate Release

Young Transplant Recipients To Dunk Their Docs in Celebration of 10th Anniversary of Children's Hospital's Camp Chihopi

Along with sunscreen, sleeping bags and swimsuits, young transplant recipients from across the United States will pack their anti-rejection medications as they depart for the 10th anniversary of a unique summer camp organized by Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Camp Chihopi, which will take place from August 6-9, 2004, gives transplant recipients the opportunity to enjoy a typical summer camp experience with other children and counselors who share and understand their medical issues. This four-day camp is held at Emma Kaufmann Camp located on Cheat Lake near Morgantown, W.Va. The weekend will conclude with a carnival featuring a dunk tank, games, prizes, cotton candy and popcorn.

Camp Chihopi, named after CHIldren's HOspital of PIttsburgh, was started a decade ago by the liver and intestine transplant team at Children's. Beverly Park, RN, CRNP, camp director and clinical nurse specialist in the Department of Transplantation at Children's, encourages transplant recipients to attend because she considers it to be part of the healing process.

"Camp allows these kids to come together in a fun setting where they can enjoy themselves and share their medical experiences with one another. It helps them realize that there are other kids who have been through similar challenges," said George V. Mazariegos, MD, director of pediatric transplantation at Children's.

Approximately 65 kids ages 7-17 are preparing for cookouts, arts and crafts, swimming, boating, sports, horseback riding and dancing while sharing their medical experiences with each other. Counselors in Training, a program that began in 2002 to encourage teenage transplant recipients to act as counselors and role models, will be part of camp again this year.

"When we started this camp, we knew it would greatly benefit these kids, but it is surprising how much it also affects the staff when they see their former patients in a fun environment," Park said. "Every year, Camp Chihopi gives the faculty and staff at Children's an emotional boost because they are reminded of how many lives have been saved because of their work."

Camp Chihopi is just one of many programs that make Children's a world leader in the care of children. Children's has performed more transplants than any other pediatric transplant center in the world, offering liver, intestine, liver-intestine, kidney, kidney-pancreas, heart, lung, heart-lung and blood and bone marrow transplants. For more information about Children's, visit www.chp.edu.

Contacts:
Sarah Melton, 412-692-5016, slmelton@geneva.edu
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-5016, marc.lukasiak@chp.edu

Last Update
February 19, 2008
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Last Update
February 19, 2008
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