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WI Kids with Asthma Have a Chance to Go To Camp

April 14, 2010

BROOKFIELD, Wis. - Wisconsin youth between 8 and 13 years old with moderate to severe asthma can run, jump, swim, climb and have fun while learning more about controlling their asthma. Camp WIKIDAS 2010, for WIsconsin KIDs with ASthma, will be held June 20-25 at Camp Wawbeek, a mile east of Wisconsin Dells.

The camp is sponsored by the American Lung Association in Wisconsin, where respiratory health program coordinator Jamie Heberer says they have 90 spots open for kids who are on daily asthma medications.

"They want to go out and play and run around and just experience summer camp, so this allows them to be able to do that."

Heberer says Camp WIKIDAS is a success every year.

"We'll get thank-you cards in the mail just saying 'Thank you for the experience of being a normal kid,' and to see other kids that have the same issues that they do."

At the camp, kids can swim, boat, hike, and enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities. For some of the kids, it's their first time away from home and the care and support of their parents and family doctor.

"Some of the kids that are there are just great examples of the fact that they have severe asthma, but they don't experience those asthma symptoms on a daily basis because their medication controls it very well."

Heberer says the staff of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and health care professionals works round-the-clock at the camp, supervising activities and teaching the kids to manage their asthma with breathing and relaxing exercises. Past campers have said the experience has made a huge difference in their lives.

Applications for the camp are due this Friday, April 16, and the camp runs June 20-25. Kids must have had the H1N1 flu vaccination to attend. Application forms are available at or at 1-800-LUNG-USA, and there is limited financial assistance available.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI