Medical City Children’s Hospitals pediatric oncology patients and their siblings can attend camp this summer without having to go too far from home.
The hospital recently received a Hyundai Hope on Wheels grant to create the Dallas camp geared toward children diagnosed with cancer. In past summers, MCCH patients attended Camp Discovery, an American Cancer Society-sponsored camp in Kerrville, Texas. Although youngsters and MCCH staff enjoyed the experience, the trip to Camp Discovery involved a five-hour bus ride, which could be physically draining for patients, according to a news release. Patients also were not close to their own hospital or families in the event they required hospitalization, the news release said.From left, John ONeill, CEO of Medical City Children’s Hospital; Hyundai representatives Ryan Rios, Ray Huffines, and Tom Hetrick; Deb Echtenkamp, RN, pediatric hematology/oncology clinical nurse specialist and Hope Grant recipient; Brooke Bott, patient; Dr. Carl Lenarsky, medical director of the pediatric hematology/oncology program at Medical City Children’s Hospital.
Spearheaded by Deb Echtenkamp, RN, MSN, CPON, clinical nurse specialist for the pediatric hematology/oncology program, the camp will take place the last week in June and offer activities such as swimming, archery, arts and crafts, tennis, canoeing, kayaking and miniature golf. The hospital wanted to include siblings as a way to help provide them insight into what their brothers and sisters might be experiencing and develop their own peer networks for support, according to the release. The inaugural group of campers who attend this summer will name the camp.