All Children's Hospital hosted a special camp kickoff on Monday, June 8, for 28 kids with cardiovascular disease. Accompanied by their parents, campers checked in with luggage, medications and a spirit of adventure Monday morning. They were underway by noon on a 135-mile bus ride to Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, Florida.
For the 19th year in a row, the American Heart Association Heart Heroes Florida and Camp Boggy Creek teamed up to send children with cardiovascular diseases to a six-day, state-of-the-art camp. The 232-acre Camp Boggy Creek offers everything from fishing to a performing arts theater, as well as a 24-hour medical staff to ensure that all children are in a safe environment and have the care they need.
After their medical check-in, campers were escorted to the "rock-star fun zone" where they played games, posed for pictures, and made a banner for the bus. Special guests included the Tampa Bay Rays mascot Raymond and the American Heart Association's giant heart mascot Thumper.
"This is one time that I can send my child off and not worry," said one mother as her daughter boarded the bus. It was all smiles from the kids and their parents as they headed off with a big shout-out of "I Love Camp Boggy."
All Children's Hospital pediatric cardiologist and American Heart Association board member Dr. Gul Dadlani addressed the campers and their families. "Boggy Creek is a great experience," said Dr. Dadlani who was also traveling with the group. "It is an opportunity to be with kids your own age and do a multitude of fun things at camp."