Helping kids delight in the wonderment and fun of their youth, despite being faced with a life-threatening illness, is what inspired the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation to start the Let Kids Be Kids Fund for children living with lupus.
Lessons to Be Learned
Let Kids Be Kids helps families that need it most by providing funding for activities that inspire and encourage children diagnosed with lupus. Since it's often difficult for these children to feel “normal,” program activities are specially designed to help boost young peoples' confidence and lift their spirits. Activities range from after-school lessons in art, music, swimming, or tai chi, to attending a day camp in the summer. When body shape changes occur due to illness or treatment, the Fund can provide assistance with teen clothing needs.
Let Kids Be Kids activity and enrichment grants are also available to kids who have a parent diagnosed with lupus. These children experience difficulty coping with a sick parent who may be hospitalized and unable to participate in their childhood activities. Also, many of these families have limited resources for extracurricular activities as they are single-parent households and unable to work due to their illness.
Camp Sunshine 2013
A Retreat for Children with Life-Threatening Illnesses and Their Families
August 18-23, 2013
Interested in attending? Click here for information and how to apply.
Learn more about Camp Sunshine at www.CampSunshine.org.
2012 — With A Week at Camp Sunshine, Children with Lupus Feel Like Kids, Not Patients
Forty kids with lupus and their families enjoyed the annual Lupus Week at Camp Sunshine courtesy of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation. Surrounded by others living with lupus, for this one week, they are just like everyone else. Pre-schoolers to teens are grouped by age to enjoy the full range of activities offered by a well-rounded sleepaway camp – swimming, boating, team sports, arts and crafts, and much more. While the kids and their siblings are playing, their families attend educational sessions and share experiences with others facing similar challenges.
The youngest camper with lupus, 8-year old Willow, captured the common experience, telling her grandma, “Everyone here is just like me!” Having been ridiculed by classmates because of her steroid-induced weight gain, Willow was so happy just to be accepted. We thank our donors, particularly the Martin Estrin Foundation, for the contributions that made this week possible and ask for your continued support towards affording more children the same chance next summer. Why is this program so valuable? The smiling photos here say it all!
- In 2011— Your generous donations helped enable the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation to send 40 families to Camp Sunshine where kids could be kids for a fun-filled week despite having lupus»
- In 2010—its 40th anniversary year—the Foundation was able to send 40 families to Camp Sunshine! See pics and read about the five days of fun and friendship that was shared »
- See what fun and relaxation was had at camp in previous years for LUPUS WEEK 2009 and also at LUPUS WEEK 2008—when the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation was the solo sponsor and more than 100 kids and teens (40 families) took part!
“Going to camp and meeting so many people with lupus from my area helped me feel like I wasn't so different after all—and that I was not alone.”
– Annette Rodriguez, 18
Words from Our Camp Sunshine Parents:
"My 14-year-old has lupus," explained one mother who attended with her family. "And I can't remember the last time he was able to be himself. He has hair loss, butterfly rashes, kidney failure, and extremely low energy. But at Camp Sunshine, I found my son again...Thank you for returning my son to us. With sponsors like you—helping families like mine—you can make a difference."
Another parent said, "Thanks for all the help and happiness you brought into our family. My daughter now knows that she is not the only one fighting for her own health."
"Four months ago when my son was diagnosed with lupus," explained another parent, "he was forced to grow up quickly. He became very depressed as he struggled to understand this horrible disease that attacked his joints, kidneys, and skin. I was drained physically and emotionally, juggling work, doctor appointments, and three kids. Coming to Camp Sunshine was the best therapy for all of us. It's given our family hope, a sense of belonging—and a week full of fun and relaxation."