Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Donations to BOBF in honor of Kapri

We wanted to give you an update on our quest to find an organization in which to use your donation to the Band of Brothers last year in Kapri's name. It has now been 10 months since our daughter passed and we have researched many different organizations helping children with heart disease but there is one that really stands out and is run by two wonderful people that coordinate a summer camp each year for children with heart disease.

The name of the camp is Camp Del Corazon and it helps children who have had open heart surgeries to heal by putting on a three week camp during the summer on Catalina Island. The camp has many activities including hiking, swimming, kayaking, camp fires, archery, etc. under the supervision of cardiologists & nurses who donate their time as counselors in case of an emergency. Many children have to go through multiple heart surgeries before the age of 18 and suffer emotionally due to the scars on their chest and their fear of their next surgery. A camp like this allows children to open up and relate to others who are going through the same experiences. This camp helps in the emotional healing that provides a child with the courage necessary to survive and cope with their heart condition.

Dana and I have seen first hand the intrusiveness of a heart surgery from from multiple intravenous lines to intense medication to breathing apparatus to the heart/lung bypass machine to the cracking open the rib cage and we can only imagine what is going through the mind of a child. These children live with tremendous anxiety knowing that once they have gone through a traumatic heart surgery, that they may have to go through it again in the future. We have heard from parents who say that their child does not want to get into their pajamas to go to bed at night since it reminds them of being in the hospital. They struggle to communicate with other children who cannot understand why they have scars on their chest and cannot join them for normal athletic activities.

As a testament to this camp, Jim Davies (who is on the Board of the Band of Brothers) has allowed me to share an email that he received from his mother about his cousin Sara who has a heart condition and attended this camp:

I told your cousin about the Band of Brothers hoping to help the Catalina Camp and she started crying! She said that camp saved their lives because her daughter had felt so isolated with her heart surgeries and all her medicines and limited life style. She loved the camp so much that she went back six summers. These children can never go to a regular summer camp so it was wonderful for them to be able to go there and see all their co-campers carrying so many medications, describing their most recent heart surgery etc. And then they could kayak and swim and do lots of normal things as there were nurses and cardiologists on hand who could help in an emergency. Thought you would enjoy sharing how very much this camp meant to your cousin's family. Love Mom.

We want to thank you again for your donation as we are so grateful that we can combine it with others that have donated to the Band of Brothers in Kapri's name and sponsor a cabin this summer that will pay for 8 children to attend this camp for one week. These children will be supervised by a full staff of cardiologists and nurses who donate their time as counselors and are prepared to deal with any emergency that may occur including a full cardiac arrest. They have the equipment necessary on site to treat these children in addition to having a helicopter and bay watch on standby for transport if necessary.

Thank you again for your donation and we hope that Kapri's short life on earth will make a difference by helping other children with heart disease.

Eric and Dana Snyder
Band of Brothers Foundation

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