Texas camp designed for kids with asthma starts new season
The counselors and doctors at Camp Tyler in Smith County, Texas, begin their 27th season this week of providing outdoor summer fun exclusively catered toward children with asthma.
Camp Tyler, the only federally-funded site dedicated to asthma research through the National Institutes of Health, is staffed by medical students and asthma experts trained to help kids live with the chronic disease.
Started in 1985 by the University of Texas Health Center, the camp has met for one week every summer since, and will run from June 10 to 15 this year.
"I love it here, the counselors are great and I love doing swimming and archery with all of my friends, and you meet new people," Brittanie Amie, a 14-year-old camper, told KLTV of East Texas.
Tyler's director Jim Stocks told the news source that overall healthcare costs are lower for children after attending the camp. Even though campers are surrounded by triggers every day at Tyler, counselors are trained in helping the kids learn to fight airway constriction.
The camp also caters to children whose families have trouble affording proper treatment for the disease. According to Stocks, over 80 percent of campers are in need of financial aid to attend the camp, and that no child has ever been turned away because they couldn't afford attendance.
Stocks told the news source that it is hard for parents to send a child who suffers from asthma away for a week, but that this camp puts worried parents at ease. Parents can protect their children from triggers like dust-mites when sleeping away from home by providing them with hypo-allergenic bedding.