150 Kids Of Courage Campers To Head To San Francisco

flying cKids of Courage is hosting 150 campers and 260 staff in San Francisco, California this week in what is turning out to be the largest trip of it’s kind. The organization – founded by Dr. Ditchek, Howie Kafka and Ari Adlerstein – runs medically supervised summer and year round travel and camp programs for sick children in the Jewish world.

The medical team headed up by Dr. Stuart Ditchek is comprised of highly trained physicians, paramedics, critical care nurses and others. The counselor to camper ration is anywhere from 1:1 to 3:1 depending on the complexity of the camper.

The children on the San Francisco trip have a wide variety of illnesses and high risk medical problems including Familial Dysautonomia, Muscular Dystrophy, Cancer, Cystic Fibrosis, Nemaline Myopathy, and paralysis with ventilator dependence and many others. The medical staff is administering 1,100 to 1,300 doses of medications per day and more if health emergencies arise. 5 of the campers are ventilator dependent and 74 have feeding tubes to assist in their nutrition and hydration.

The organization runs a mobile infirmary coordinated by paramedic Howie Kafka. Many campers will receive in-flight oxygen.

Last year, they flew the children and dozens of medically trained volunteers to Los Angeles at no cost to the families.

“In addition to setting up what we call a, ‘hospital in the sky,’ I think it’s the most fun airplane ride anyone can ever take complete with pillow fights at 33,000 feet,” said Dr. Ditchek.

He said planning for this year’s trip to San Francisco is a huge logistical feat. “We’re talking about 1,100 to 1,150 individual doses of medication in a one-day period. That’s probably the equivalent of two children’s hospitals.”

While in San Francisco, the Kids of Courage week-long adventure will feature a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure, a day at Raging Water, California’s largest water park, a visit to Alcatraz, a tour of the Jelly Belly candy factory, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and a tour of the NASA center.

The trip to has a price tag of about $820,000 and is completely funded by donations. All staff are volunteers.

For more information on the group, visit them at www.kidsoc.org.

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  1. wow just what these kids need, to fell like one and to have fun. it sounds like a great trip. these children will come home with a wonderful memories of this trip and the friends they made along the way.

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