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Helping Summer Camps for Sick Children in Romania

  • July 14, 2009

The lazy days of summer are supposed to be a time for splashing around in swimming pools and playing baseball. But for children with hemophilia in Romania, just kicking around a soccer ball can be deadly.

Children afflicted with hemophilia – a genetic condition that prevents their blood from clotting – are at constant risk of hemorrhaging from even the simplest of activities without proper care.

But the treatments they need to avoid internal bleeding and life-threatening injuries, known as factor therapies, are often not affordable, or in short supply in Romania.

That’s why AmeriCares donates these critically needed medicines to Camp Ray of Hope.

Each summer, 40 boys with hemophilia spend a week at the camp in central Romania playing sports and games – simple, childhood activities that would be far too dangerous for them at home.

Since the camp began in 2006, AmeriCares and Baxter BioScience have donated most of the factor therapies needed for the program.

“Without the donations from AmeriCares we couldn’t have the camp because these therapies are scarce in Romania,” said Adriana Henderson, the camp’s founder. “The government only purchases enough for emergencies.”

It’s just one example of how AmeriCares has been expanding its work in recent years to support summer camps for disadvantaged and sick children.

This summer, AmeriCares is also sending shipments of hygiene products, first aid supplies and educational products to three camps in Armenia. One camp is for chronically and terminally ill children; the other two camps serve hundreds of poor children and orphans.

“AmeriCares has been supporting many of the same children for years by donating a variety of primary and specialty medicines to their local hospitals,” said Ella Gudwin, who oversees AmeriCares work in Eastern Europe. “Supporting camps which offer them rest and respite is just another way AmeriCares helps disadvantaged children lead active and healthy lives.”

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