KANSAS CITY, Mo. — At a summer camp in Kansas City, children from across the state and the country have something in common — they get to forgo being patients and focus on having fun.
Camp ChiMer is in its 33rd year of providing children with renal disease a fun camp experience at Three Trails Camp and Retreat Center.
The five-day overnight camp is for children ages nine to 18 who have either had a kidney transplant or require dialysis.
Campers have a chance to participate in activities like fishing, rock wall climbing, and swimming under medical supervision — activities they otherwise would not be able to do.
“I love seeing the kids just get to be kids,” Kathleen Mallett, a nurse practitioner and camp volunteer said. “They just get to be like other kids like them. It's pretty hard to be a kid and fit in and this is a good opportunity for them to do that.”
The camp is staffed by physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, social workers and volunteers.
Dialysis treatments are provided on-site.
“Sometimes kids can get a little anxious when they have medical needs, so we really try to take care of all of those things for them so they can enjoy the camp,” Amy Nau, the nursing director said.
This year, the camp is hosting 51 campers. All campers attend free of charge.
To learn more about the camp, donate, or sign up to be a volunteer visit their website.