Camp Discovery Helps to Make the Impossible Possible for Children with Epilepsy - Bronson Healthcare

Published on June 09, 2010

Camp Discovery Helps to Make the Impossible Possible for Children with Epilepsy

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 the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan
The Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan values all people with epilepsy. We commit our resources to empowering their independence and inspiring productive lives. To the extent of our capabilities, we offer our services to every individual without regard to artificial barriers. For more information, visit

About Bronson Methodist Hospital
Bronson Methodist Hospital, located at 601 John St. in downtown Kalamazoo, Mich., is the flagship of Bronson Healthcare Group, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving all of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. With 380 licensed beds and all private rooms, Bronson Methodist Hospital provides care in virtually every specialty — cardiology, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, neurology, oncology — with advanced capabilities in critical care as a Level I Trauma Center; in neurological care as a Joint Commission certified Primary Stroke Center; in cardiac care as the region’s first accredited Chest Pain Emergency Center; in obstetrics as the leading BirthPlace and only high-risk pregnancy center in southwest Michigan, and in pediatrics as one of only five children's hospitals in the state.

Bronson serves the largest percentage of Medicaid patients in the area and provides a substantial benefit to the community through outreach and charitable care. It is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence. In 2009, the hospital received the AHA McKesson Quest for Quality Prize awarded annually to only one U.S. hospital, was named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters, and joined the top five percent of hospitals in the nation to be designated a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence. Bronson is also ranked in the top five percent of hospitals in the nation as a 2009-10 HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence.

For more information, visit