For the last four years, Centegra Physician Care Neurohospitalist Heeren Patel, MD, helped hundreds of children with muscular dystrophy and related muscle-debilitating diseases celebrate Christmas in June.
That is how Muscular Dystrophy Association summer campers describe the weeklong MDA Summer Camp near Bloomington, Illinois. From June 10-16, Dr. Patel, along with local Emergency Medical Service workers, volunteered their time for the MDA Summer Camp by giving medical support to the campers.
“The camp provides these kids with mobility assistance and adaptive sports,” Patel said. “They can do things like ride horses or swim in a pool – things they cannot normally do. This one time of year gives them a chance to enjoy life and fully display their abilities. Smiles and joy spread quickly as they reunite with their friends year after year.”
Children ages 6 to 17 are invited to the camp. The MDA is always looking for medical volunteers as well as counselors.
“I’ve been doing this since I was completing my Fellowship at University of Illinois Hospital System,” Patel said. “Camp has changed the way I approach patient care by focusing on a patient’s desires and abilities along with managing their disabilities.”
Those interested in volunteering at a future MDA camp with Dr. Patel can visit www.mda.org/get-involved/become-a-volunteer or contact Dr. Patel with questions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.