view of an oasiso·a·sis: something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast

Imagine a child afflicted by a gut-wrenching disease. Terrible pain, urgent restroom use, and lots and lots of diarrhea. Bloody diarrhea. Fearsome surgeries, troublesome medications, cumbersome dietary limitations, nutrition problems, abnormal growth rate, and a host of other potential challenges. Add to that the social difficulties of being sick, experiencing symptoms that involve taboo topics, and feeling very, very different... This is a life even most adults would find challenging. It’s enough to make anyone wish for an escape, a respite, somewhere to get away from it all…That’s what Camp Oasis is all about. It is a week-long experience for kids with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It is held in various locations across the country at camps equipped with proper medical facilities, staff, and other amenities that make it possible to accommodate kids with specialized medical needs.

Camp oasis offers an incredible opportunity for kids who otherwise might not be able to partake in the summer camp experience. Imagine this for a child… a week away from feeling different, a week of togetherness with other kids who share the same challenges... a week filled with sports, crafts, horseback riding, fishing, boating, swimming, skits, music, team building, and above all, incredible personal growth... a week like no other in the life of an afflicted child.

As one of the many patient support activities provided by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Camp Oasis is offered free of charge. Camper ages range from second grade through high school. It is a life-changing opportunity for a young person. And it’s also a great way to volunteer your time and energy—many locations have openings for counselors and activity leaders. The application window is typically January through March. Right now is the perfect time to start the sign-up process, so check it out today!

For more camp information and other resources for kids and teens living with IBD, visit http://www.ccfa.org/kidsteens.

With donor support, Camp Oasis turns from a mirage into a miracle. To help make the CCFA’s life-changing initiatives possible, please visit www.ccfa.org/donate.

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About the Author

Andrew Tubesing is an acclaimed advocate and humorist on the subject of inflammatory bowel disease.