It is like a dream come true!

Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2006 - 4:45am
Carefulmom's picture
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I really did not think such a place existed. Dd had a friend last year who went to sleep-away camp for a week for diabetics. The food is safe for diabetics, they all test their sugars, etc. So a few months ago, I asked dd`s allergist if there was anything similar for kids with food allergies. Dd is 11 and allergic to milk and peanuts. The milk allergy is much harder to work around than the pa. So dd`s allergist told me that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has an asthma camp. I said what about the food allergies, and he said they are prepared to deal with all kinds of special situations. I called, and due to the prevalence of nut allergies, the camp is peanut free and tree nut free. They have doctors actually at the camp and they are prepared to handle any emergency. They have nebulizers, can start IVs, etc. It is really hard to get in. There are more applications than there are spots, and they decide based on medical need. So dd got in and last night we had our orientation meeting for parents and kids. I assumed that due to the milk allergy I would just send all of dd`s food. It would be hard to find 5 days worth of non-perishable milk free food, but we would come up with something (non-perishable because it is a two hour bus ride to the camp and about an hour to check in before that), once at camp her food could be refrigerated. Never in a million years did I expect her to be able to eat the camp food with milk allergy. If your child is MFA instead of pa/tna, you sort of give up hoping that they will ever be able to eat a meal that wasn`t prepared by you. Also, dd had a recent cross-contamination milk reaction, so I really did not expect a camp cook to know all about cross contamination.

So here is the part that is too good to be true. At this camp, they have lots of kids with food allergies, and they are used to accomodating even MFA kids. At the meeting last night, they said that they have milk free meals available for all the meals. (obviously all meals are peanut free/tree nut free). They have soy milk and rice milk available at all meals, besides regular milk. And even better, for every meal for every item served, they announce the ingredients to the kids, and the ingredients are all written on the black board for every food item served. So if your child is allergy aware, he can just read the ingredients and determine what is safe for him. And they train the cooks on cross contamination. Dd was SO SO SO excited when she heard this. Even better, there are two board certified allergists at the camp. They were both at the meeting, and one turned out to be my former allergist from way back when. I don`t have to train anyone on the epi (that is a FIRST), because the allergists will actually know more about how and when to treat a reaction than I do. The allergists even ride the bus to camp with the kids.

Dd and I are so excited about this. For the first time ever, I am actually sending her off somewhere not thinking to myself "if she has a reaction, will they really use the epi?" For once, she will actually be safer away from me than with me. When your child goes off to school, you always wonder would the teacher really recognize the reaction quickly and use the epi. And the allergist said last night that he has been working at this camp for 20 years, and they have never had a single allergic reaction.

So if your child is MFA or just pa, and you figure that they will never get to go to sleep away camp, you really should check out the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. They have different chapters, and I don`t know if all the chapters have camps that are peanut free with allergists on site. But it sure is nice to be able to send your child off to camp and only have to worry about normal things (will she be able to sleep without her "blankie", will she get homesick, etc.) I never thought the day would come that I would be able to send dd somewhere and not have to ask for any accomodations. Just wanted to share this. Maybe other people want to look into it for your area.

Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2006 - 4:57am
lilpig99's picture
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Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

Wow, that is such great news. I hope your DD has a wonderful time!!! And how wonderful for you too....to just be able to send your MFA child to camp...to just be able to do it. THat's so great...enjoy!

Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2006 - 5:13am
gvmom's picture
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Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

Congratulations on your DD getting into the camp!!! How exciting for her to be able to go -- and exciting for you that you don't have to sit and worry about the MFA's. Truly amazing! Let's hope she has the time of her life, and if you go one year you end up with some priority for the next year!

Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2006 - 5:20am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Yes, and if she actually has a question about the ingredients, she can ask one of the allergists there, and I know she will be given the correct answer. I know your ds is pa and egg allergic, right? But I think he is younger than my dd. Anyhow, I have the impression that they would have no problem accomodating egg allergy. They said at the meeting that they keep the food items really simple with few ingredients to make it easy for the kids to determine what is safe. Maybe they have a chapter in your area, if your ds wants to go at some point.

Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2006 - 8:20am
kandomom's picture
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Joined: 01/12/2006 - 09:00

How absolutely wonderful for you and your DD! How long will the camp be and how will you spend your time without her around? Enjoy and have a terrific summer!

Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2006 - 8:41am
krasota's picture
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Joined: 04/24/2000 - 09:00

We used to send my little brother to asthma camp (somewhere in Indiana). He loved it. My mom was relieved to know that conscientious staff who could handle his needs were all on board. He loved it.
It also gave the rest of the family a break from carrying extra inhalers and meds for him all the time. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] We had a week off and he had a week of fun and hijinx.
ygg

Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2006 - 11:09am
Adele's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

Carefulmom, That's fabulous! Your DD must be SO excited!
Are you going to enjoy the week too? Are you going to plan anything special?
Adele

Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2006 - 9:06pm
mommyofmatt's picture
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Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

That's wonderful news!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I'm so glad she got in and is excited to go [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I hope you enjoy the week too. I'm really happy for her. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Meg

Posted on: Fri, 06/16/2006 - 5:12am
SallyL's picture
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Joined: 02/20/2006 - 09:00

That's awesome!! I actually am getting tears in my eyes!!

Posted on: Fri, 06/16/2006 - 5:29am
smudgesgarden's picture
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Joined: 02/26/2006 - 09:00

thats realy awsome...
whats the name of the camp? and where is it located? im thinking way ahead here for my son. i never ever thought he would be able to go to sleep away camp!
my husband wants him to join boy scouts in a few years but i just cant imagen him going to a camp out with all the diffrent allergies he has...
this camp sounds too good to be true.
i so happy for you!
----
erin
son alergic to peanuts, dairy, strawberries, blueberries and aparently my mother in laws dog [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 06/16/2006 - 9:08am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

The camp is for five nights and is for ages 8 to 14. Dd is already saying it isn`t long enough! Something tells me she isn`t going to get homesick. As for me, I`ll miss her alot. The longest we have been apart is about 30 hours. I will definitely order a pizza and probably eat a Reese cup. I am going out with a friend one night, but also want to have some time at home to relax. I am planning to rent a lot of movies. Although I`ll be able to stay out late, I really doubt I will, as I am usually ready to fall asleep by 10 P.M.! I am pretty surprised that she got in, as her asthma is not severe. I think they let her in because of the food allergies. Smudgesgarden, it is through the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. I don`t think it really has a name. They just call it "Asthma Camp". Their website is [url="http://www.aafa.org"]www.aafa.org[/url] Check and see if they have a chapter near you. Basically they rent space at a real camp, and then make it safe for kids with allergy/asthma. Her camp will be up in the mountains about 85 miles away. (I am in Los Angeles.) She is really excited. Your ds`s allergies are really not much more than my dd, so I bet they could accomodate him if they have something similar in your area.
[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited June 16, 2006).]

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