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‘Holidays with Camp Cosmos’ day camp held for children with physical differences

ConnectMed hosted its “Holidays with Camp Cosmos” event on Dec. 12 at San Dieguito Park’s Miracle Field. This in-person event is open to all kids with physical differences and their families and also celebrates the medical providers that have helped them. It is the first and only therapeutic and recreational day camp for this community in and around San Diego.

Camp Cosmos allows young patients and their families to interact with many of their treatment team members in a relaxed and fun environment that is a welcome contrast from the often-intimidating clinical setting. Campers were greeted by special guests Santa and Kyle Holder of the New York Yankees. Holder was the 30th draft pick overall for the NY Yankees in 2015. He is a San Diego native and University of San Diego alum. Holder is an all-star infielder with a long tradition of giving back to local youth sports.

Activities and discussions are centered on building self-esteem, confidence and community. All participated in kickball games, “snowball” games, arts and crafts, as well as a theater workshop. Families received activity kits, swag from the San Diego Sockers, pizza, cookies and refreshments.

ConnectMed secures ongoing full recovery care for children with physical differences as result of birth defects or trauma. This often means care and services for multiple surgeries and treatments, speech, orthodontic and mental health. The organization also provides education and resources to local community medical teams in multiple countries including the U.S., Mexico, Malawi, Vietnam, Guatemala, among others. Global medical outreach and follow-up and psychosocial programs are part of comprehensive care services.

ConnectMed also provides a virtual day of activities for those who live all over the country or cannot make the event in person. Almost 50 families registered and received their activity kits and gifts by mail. They were treated to a presentation from activist, author and podcaster Rasheera Dopson who speaks about living with physical differences, disabilities and chronic illness due to two rare diseases she was born with, Goldenhar and Vatar Syndromes. (beautywithatwist.org).

Camp Cosmos is centered around inclusivity and providing positive social experiences for the ConnectMed children and families. Event partners include UCSD School of Medicine Division of Plastic Surgery, Rady’s Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic, La Jolla Vacation Rentals, Donegan Burns Foundation, KLS Martin Group, Dough Momma Pizzeria and the San Diego Sockers.

December is the month to help secure these types of programs for 2022. Help fund important programs like Camp Cosmos and medical outreach by visiting connectmed.org.


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