2013 Asthma Camp
ONE WEEK ONLY - June 23-28
Call (903) 877-7075
After more than two decades of commitment to children
with asthma, the Texas Asthma Camp for Kids has claimed its place
as the oldest asthma camp in the state of Texas.
Since 1985, hundreds of children have learned the skills necessary
to manage their asthma while at the same time realizing that they
could run, swim and have fun—just like kids at traditional
Held each year in June on beautiful Lake Tyler located in Smith County, Texas, the camp is a community-wide effort of which we can be proud. The Texas Asthma Camp for Kids is organized and conducted by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, supported by Texas Chest Foundation and staffed in part by respiratory therapy students from Tyler Junior College and Angelina College in Lufkin who serve as counselors while receiving credit for the clinical experience. Our camp also serves as the only site of a federally-funded National Institutes of Health asthma research program in the United States.
The Need is Great
The need for
a camp like this one has never been greater. More than half of the
17 million Americans who have asthma are children. A recent survey
reported that 70 percent of all Americans either have asthma in
their household or immediate family or know of someone with the
disease. One in three children suffering from asthma went to an
emergency room last year because of an asthma attack. Even more
alarming is that over the last 15 years, the number of deaths from
asthma has increased by 150 percent. With more effective treatment
and better medications than ever, why are children still dying from
Asthma is a lung disease that affects
the airways that carry air into and out of the lungs. Symptoms vary
from child to child, but can include coughing, wheezing, shortness
of breath and chest tightness. Recent studies have shown that untreated
asthma can cause long-term and permanent damage to the lungs and
other major organs. For the person without asthma, the sensation
would be similar to breathing through a cocktail straw compared
to breathing normally though a garden hose.
Living with asthma can sometimes by scary
and lonely for a child. They may feel isolated and fear they are
the only ones who have the disease. Children with asthma are sometimes
the targets of other kids who make fun of them. Asthma Camp teaches
asthmatic children that they are not alone and that many others
suffer from the same disease. Many campers return year after year
and make life-long friends through the Texas Asthma Camp for Kids.
The Importance of Education
don’t always recognize the signs of an oncoming asthma attack
until it’s too late. Experts agree that education is the key,
and the staff of the Texas Asthma Camp for Kids is committed to
creating an environment at camp where children can learn about their
disease while having fun at the same time. The education mission
of the Texas Asthma Camp for Kids is to help children learn how
to take an active role in the management of their disease. During
the week, they learn what happens to the lungs before and during
an asthma attack, and they are taught about the different types
of medications and their effects on the disease. Most importantly,
they learn the steps they can take on their own to better manage
their asthma and avoid an attack.
What Parents Say
Asthma camp can be a life-changing experience for the kids who
attend each year. Letters from parents bear witness to that fact.
One parent wrote of her son, “You introduced him to a lot
of activities, and for the first time he is starting to venture
out and try new things. For the longest time, he felt like he was
the only one with asthma. Now I know he will become all he can be.
I would like to thank you all so very much for offering children
like my son this opportunity.”
Another parent said, “I’ve noticed a dramatic change
in my daughter’s asthma since camp. I don’t’ have
to remind her to take her medications—now she does it on her
own. We haven’t been to the emergency room once this year.
The education program at camp completely changed her outlook on
How You Can Help
child who wishes to attend the Texas Asthma Camp for Kids is ever
turned away because of financial reasons. The camp works closely
with school nurses and physicians throughout East Texas to identify
those children most in need of the social and educational experiences
provided at the Texas Asthma Camp for Kids. These children miss
the most days of school, they have the most under-treated asthma
and they don’t always know how to manage their disease.
Each year, the trustees of the Texas Chest Foundation and friends
of the Texas Asthma Camp for Kids underwrite the annual budget of
$50,000. Over 80 percent of the children who attend Asthma Camp
each year are in need of financial aid.
To learn more about the Texas Asthma Camp for Kids, call 903-877-7075. For information concerning
funding to support the camp, call the Texas Chest Foundation at
903-561-8479 or write to P.O. Box 6554, Tyler, Texas 75711.