Lots of parents take shuttling their youngsters off to camp for granted. But for other moms and pops, the prospect of their seriously ill tots enjoying one of life's simple pleasures is a dream.
Twenty years ago the late actor Paul Newman opened the first Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut to give children with a variety of illnesses the opportunity to experience athletics, arts and crafts and theater while camping under the watchful eye of specially trained counselors and themed medical centers. At the camp, lil ones are not treated any differently than healthy kids. Through the sale of Newman's Own food products and donations, the camp has now expanded to 11 locations in four countries.
Hole in the Wall Gang Camps serve more than 1,000 kiddos living with cancer, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, HIV and other serious medical conditions free of charge each Summer. Through the foundation, they have expanded their reach to Asia and Africa, partnering with local organizations to help children living with HIV/AIDS in those countries build confidence and enjoy a break from the hardship in their lives.