ABILENE, Texas - This is a special week for children in the Big Country with asthma.
The Hendrick Asthma Camp is funded by the Children's Miracle Network. When it started 11 years ago, there were only 12 campers. Now, that number is 80.
You wouldn't know it just by looking at her, but 10-yaer-old Ashlynn White has asthma.
While traditional summer camps may not be in her cards, she's enjoying the Hendrick Asthma Camp just fine.
"We pretty much focus on having fun at camp, going swimming, doing arts and crafts, but throughout the day, they learn different skills on how to manage their symptoms," said Susan McQuade, asthma educator at Hendrick Medical Center.
The camp is unique because all the kids are dealing with the same thing.
"We want them to be with other kids who share their illness so they can bond with other kids and see that other children live with the same disease as them," McQuade said.
White said camp makes her feel like she's not alone.
"People have been picking on me because of my asthma," White said. "They say I can't do sports, that I'm worthless, but I just don't listen to them because, you know, even though I have a problem, I just think it's because I'm unique," she said.
While there's no cure for asthma, it's not a limitation.
"If they learn to recognize when they are having trouble and handle it then, it doesn't become a disability," McQuade said.
"I'm like any other kid," White said. "You know, people with asthma, they can't be held back."
The camp has a nebulizer machine onsite in case any child has difficulties; the kids also track their pulmonary functions throughout the day.
For more information on asthma and the Hendrick Asthma Camp, click here.
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