There’s something in the air at Camp Pontiac in Copake, New York. Many who are located in the city would just call it fresh air, but to our enCourage families it’s so much more than that – it’s a sense of freedom and a true escape from the stress and anxiety of their everyday lives.
Like most ten year old girls, enCourage kid Zuri loves hanging out with her friends after school, attending birthday parties, shopping trips, and other activities. Unlike most ten year old girls, Zuri faces the barrier of living with sickle cell disease.
Due to her disease, Zuri’s red blood cells contort into a sickle – or crescent – shape. These cells die early, leaving a shortage of healthy cells and blocking blood flow, causing pain, fatigue, and infections.
Imagine having a birthday and not being able to indulge in your own cake. For enCourage kid KeVaughn (KE), that is his reality. KE has celebrated all of his 14 birthdays without cake, as his illness, Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorder (EGID), causes his body to reject food. Because of this, KE gets the majority of his nourishment through a tube that flows directly from a backpack into his stomach.
When you join enCourage Kids Foundation, you join a group of families, staff, volunteers, and supporters who truly understand the ups and downs of having a seriously ill child. Our kids and families form relationships and bonds with other families in our program that last a lifetime. Although children age-out of our Escapes program when they turn 19, they know they have a family for life with enCourage Kids.
How a Few Seconds Can Turn a Fear into a Strong Foundation of Courage
If you’ve been following along on our social media, you know that the next big thing at enCourage Kids Foundation is our world record setting event, Breaking Barriers. On May 11, 2017, martial arts master and current world record holder Leif Becker will make history as he attempts to set a new world record for the most boards broken in a 24 hour period. Hosted at Ripley’s Believe it or Not! in the heart of Times Square, Leif will attempt to break 12,000 boards – all to benefit enCourage Kids.