Camp Discovery Helps to Make the Impossible Possible for Children with Epilepsy
June 09, 2010
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — From June 27 through July 1, more than 70 children with epilepsy will travel to Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center to attend Camp Discovery, the only camp of its kind in Michigan.
Hosted by the Epilepsy Foundation, the camp is designed for kids aged eight to 17. Bronson doctors and nurses will help with the five-day, four-night camp for the seventh year in a row. They volunteer their time to help provide 24-hour medical team coverage for the campers.
Nationally, about 2.7 million people have some form of epilepsy. Thirty percent of them are children under the age of 18. Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. It’s also called a seizure disorder. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy. A seizure happens when a brief, strong surge of electrical activity affects part or all of the brain. One in 10 adults will have a seizure sometime during their life. Seizures can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. They can have many symptoms, from convulsions and loss of consciousness to some that are not always recognized as seizures by the person experiencing them or by health care professionals: blank staring, lip smacking, or jerking movements of arms and legs.
“This is, for many campers, the first time they have been away from home,” says Stephanie Bayma, a registered nurse at Bronson Neurological Services who serves as medical director of Camp Discovery. “It’s also an opportunity to participate in activities they never dreamed possible such as swimming, canoeing, wall climbing, horseback riding, archery and much more.”
Daniel R. Fain, M.D., pediatric neurologist at Bronson Pediatric Neurology, will be the camp neurologist for the week. Fain says, “It is an excellent feeling to be able to donate my expertise to this camp. In addition to being a fun get-away for the kids, the camp really helps the kids to build confidence and independence as well as their knowledge about epilepsy.”
About Bronson Methodist Hospital