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Dozens of Liver/Intestine Transplant Recipients Take Part in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s Summer Camp
WHAT: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC transplant patients will depart for a four-day weekend at Camp Chihopi, Children’s Hospital’s annual summer camp for liver and/or intestine transplant recipients.
The camp, which will be held Aug. 10 to 13, gives patients of Children’s Hospital who have had liver and/or intestine transplants a chance to enjoy the lush campgrounds and lakeside surroundings of the Emma Kaufmann Camp near Morgantown, W.V. The camp is primarily staffed by older transplant recipients with camp experience as well as Children’s Hospital nurses, physician assistants, doctors, and other community volunteers. Additionally, older campers, ages 16-18, help as counselors-in-training (CITs). 
After registering their campers at the Holiday Inn University Center in Oakland, families will travel across the street to the Pittsburgh Athletic Association to listen to speakers including Thomas E. Starzl, M.D., Ph.D., known to most as the “Father of Transplantation”; George V. Mazariegos, M.D., chief, pediatric transplantation at Children’s; and Rakesh  Sindhi, M.D., co-director of pediatric transplantation. Additionally, Colin Smith, program director of Beads of Courage will present a program about a new initiative in working with transplant recipients as they progress through the transplant process. Beads of Courage is a program for children with chronic conditions that helps them record, tell and own their stories of courage.
Camp Chihopi provides a non-medical environment where campers can increase self-esteem, build relationships with peers, and increase their understanding of their health care experiences. The camp aims to help children continue to adapt to their chronic condition as a transplant recipient as they mature into young adults and beyond.
Activities at camp will include boating and tubing, swimming, horseback riding, arts and crafts, sports, music activities, cookouts, and more.
Direct Energy has donated $2,500 to the camp and will be involved this year by organizing the Sunday afternoon “main event” featuring a 1980’s-themed activity. Volunteers from Direct Energy will also be attending the brunch on Friday and will manage the event on Sunday.
WHO: More than 50 Children’s Hospital transplant recipients, ages 7 to 15, and their families will gather for camp-related registration events and the send-off for camp. In addition, there are over 50 staff members, most of whom are also transplant recipients, and many of whom have attended camp for five or more years.
WHEN: Friday, August 10
                10:00 a.m. – Registration (Holiday Inn)
                11:00 a.m. – Family Brunch and presentations (Pittsburgh Athletic Association)
                11:30 a.m. - Buses depart for camp
WHERE: Holiday Inn University Center, 100 Lytton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Pittsburgh Athletic Association, 4215 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Note to Media: Media interested in attending this should arrive at the Holiday Inn and call Andrea Kunicky at 412-439-5264.

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