You know how I look forward to Camp Simcha all year round. I get excited to enable these adorable sick kids to have a normal camp experience like children should have. These kids spent the majority of their lives busy with medication, injections, appointments, tests, g-tubes, IVs, therapies and all the medical world that they are forced to endure. Some of these kids know how to work a ventilator and pumps better than how to use a PlayStation. They finally get a chance to be a kid in this magical place where kids who are wheelchair bound get to ride the zipline and kids with artificial airways, tubes and drains get to go swimming. The activities are planned to include those that can not walk and keep in mind those that can not swallow. The meals are tailor made to campers’ allergies, special food regimes, diet restrictions and of course food preferences. The pharmacy prepares thousands of medications daily to be dispensed at the exact times they are scheduled. The infirmary is stocked with anything and everything a camper may need such as feeding tube equipment, sterile dressing changes, IV supplies, wound care supplies, over the counter medication, and their own pharmacy of oral and IV antibiotics, and prescription medications they may need. There are rooms that would shame any emergency department and an impressive pediatric resuscitation room set up to stabilize any emergency that comes up. There’s an ambulance, helicopter, contracts and agreements set up with the pediatric specialty hospitals.
I am so proud to be a nurse for these special campers along with a medical crew including many nurses, specialized pediatric doctors, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, EMTs, paramedics, and techs. I don’t always get to see the fun things that go on in camp because I am based in the infirmary but the smiles on the kids faces make every ounce of energy I put into the kids worth it. It is a privilege to be on this team and serve these special neshamos, to bring happiness to their lives with a fun camp experience that most children barely appreciate.
But in this unique position I see what goes into creating this special opportunity. This February, I will be running in the Miami Marathon as part of Team Lifeline to benefit children with cancer, disabilities, and other serious medical conditions. Every dollar I raise and every mile I run will benefit Chai Lifeline, an international children’s health support network that provides critical year-round programs and services to nearly 6,000 families confronting pediatric illness.
While running all those miles will be challenging, I am excited to help raise awareness and funds for such an important and worthy cause.
My goal is to raise $5,000, but I need your help. Every donation is 100% tax deductible. Please join me in supporting this important organization by contributing to my personal runner page: https://www.teamlifeline.org/Miami23/hennyheiman.