Children with chronic pancreatitis will experience emergency room visits, days of missed school due to hospitalization and constant pain. Pancreatitis is a rare disease and when diagnosed, most parents and children have never heard of it. "Being diagnosed with pancreatitis at 8-years-old was difficult because I didn't know any other kids who were going through what I was going through," said Lauren Smakosz, 16. "Through years of hospital admissions, testing and surgeries, it became more and more difficult to keep up with school work and get back to playing soccer."
The NPF wants to create Camp Hope in the Summer of 2020 where children and young people aged 8 - 17 suffering from acute recurring or chronic pancreatitis, or post TP/IAT, to experience all the joys of camp without limitations. Camp Hope will also provide parents/caregivers with some respite and children and young people with a place to meet/bond with other patients and will be a place about all the things children and young people want to and can do: swim, canoe, sing, build lifelong friendships and more.