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Camp Wheez - Free Summer Day Camp for Kids with Asthma

Camp Wheez

Camp Wheez is postponed to summer, 2021

Because Camp Wheez campers are at high risk of illness and their health is our greatest concern, we have made the difficult decision not to hold Camp Wheez in 2020. Check back here for updates. We hope to see you at Camp Wheez in 2021! 

Camp Wheez is a day camp for children in grades 1 through 6 with asthma. They enjoy a camp experience designed for their special needs and learn about their asthma while participating in games & recreation, arts & crafts, and old-fashioned camp fun! Camp Wheez was founded by Myron Liebhaber, MD in 1978 in partnership with the American Lung Association.

At Camp Wheez the children also learn about their asthma. They inflate real pig lungs to better understand the respiratory system and play Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortunate and spelling bee – all with an asthma theme. The children have an opportunity to be part of a research study to better understand the impact of asthma education on airway inflammation. As part of the study, campers did a non-invasive pulmonary function test called FeNO on day 1 (baseline) and day 5 (end of Camp). The test involves blowing into a device that measures Exhaled Nitric Oxide, a marker of airway inflammation.

At Camp in 2018 children with a low or intermediate FeNO, indicating low or intermediate inflammation, remained approximately the same over the week. Children with a high baseline, indicating high inflammation and high risk of asthma exacerbation, showed a 10% improvement by the end of camp. This significant improvement demonstrates the effectiveness of the 5-day program of hands on learning about asthma management. Dr. Liebhaber remarked " that this allowed us to directly confirm that the Camp Wheez experience has a direct effect on asthma control." This study was published and repeated at Camp Wheez in 2019. Once again, the results look promising! 

In 2019, Camp Wheez kids experienced a dinosaur world. They made dinosaur eggs for snack, dinosaur silhouette artwork and did dinosaur drumming. A highlight was a visit from Grayson Kent, Paleontologist, who shared dinosaur and reptile fossils as well as his collection of living reptiles. How many kids does it take to hold up a giant living cobra? Eight kids at Camp Wheez!

 

The fun, learning and science of Camp Wheez are made possible by the generous support of many community members and organizations including:

  • Charles W. Brockway 
  • Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Clark
  • Jim and Peggie Cox
  • Leno L. De Lorenzi, Jr. 
  • Linda Mae Fariss 
  • Robert Fry, MD
  • Gail M. Grant
  • Jerry W. Higgins 
  • Karen Johnson, MD
  • Ernest Kolendrianos, MD
  • Myron Liebhaber, MD
  • John Motola, PT
  • Geary and Tina Olivera
  • Samuel Ramirez 
  • Deborah L. Reber
  • Michael and Rania Shenoda
  • Swanton Foundation 
  • Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara
  • CenCal Health
  • Cottage Health Respiratory Therapy Department
  • Easy Lift
  • Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics
  • Veronica Springs Church
  • And many, many community volunteers

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