Sunday, March 22, 2009

Camp HemoVon to Host Kids With Blood Disorders

Morgantown, WV (BNN) – Children with blood disorders will have the opportunity to forget their health problems and have fun with kids just like them when Camp HemoVon kicks off on July 26. 
Formerly known as West Virginia Hemophilia Camp, Camp HemoVon is a weeklong camp for children ages 7 to 16 who have a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia or von Willebrand disease. The camp is sponsored by West Virginia University Health Sciences, West Virginia Bleeding Disorder Association, Camp Happy Valley and various pharmaceutical companies. 
“Camp HemoVon is a way for kids to engage in normal activities they might not otherwise be able to do,” said Anita Graham, camp coordinator. 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hemophilia is an inherited disorder that affects 18,000 people in the United States, most of whom are male. The condition results from deficiencies in blood clotting factors and can lead to spontaneous internal bleeding and bleeding following injuries or surgery. 
The most common bleeding disorder is von Willebrand disease, found in approximately 1 to 2 percent of the U.S. population, according to the CDC. It results from a deficiency or defect in the body’s ability to make von Willebrand factor, which is a protein that helps blood clot. While the disorder occurs equally in both genders, females are more likely to recognize the symptoms of the disease because of heavy or abnormal menstrual periods and bleeding after giving birth. 
In its 13th year, Camp HemoVon usually hosts campers from West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, as well as doctors and counselors. Campers are patients who have been treated in Morgantown, Charleston and Pittsburgh. 
This marks the first year the camp will be held at Camp Happy Valley in Scott Depot, W.Va. Previously, the camp was held at Camp Horseshoe in Tucker County, W.Va. The camp is held in conjunction with Camp WINACA (Children WIN Against CAncer), a camp for children with cancer. 
 Campers have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities including swimming, archery, hiking, fishing, boating, ropes course, climbing wall, zip line, basketball, tetherball, field activities and campfires. 
There is no cost for campers to attend. The WVU Hemophilia Center secures funding, runs the infirmary and provides on-site 24-hour medical coverage with help from a licensed physician and registered nurses from around the state. The infirmary is under the direction of Elizabeth Kurczynski, M.D. The Hemophilia Center of Western Pennsylvania also provides care. 
Initial registration for Camp HemoVon is due by April 30. For more information on attending the camp or on providing financial support to the camp, contact Anita Graham by phone at 304-293-1205 or by e-mail at

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