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Living with Thalassemia:
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▶ Karim Zamani
▶ Serafina Sammarco: Isabella's Journey

Patient Stories

My Experience at the Painted Turtle Camp
by Meghan Foe (2008)

Meghan Foe
Meghan Foe
Arrival Photo Time

Dear Readers:

If you are reading this right now, then you are probably interested in my trip to the Painted Turtle summer camp. If not, then you should stop reading because that’s what this letter is about. The Painted Turtle is a camp founded by a group of people who wanted to help children who are chronically ill. Among them is the actor Paul Newman. If you don’t know who he is, you probably know him as the guy on the salad dressing. The Painted Turtle gives kids with illnesses a chance to have fun, escape hospitals, and just be a kid all in one week. At Camp, I could ride a horse down a scenic trail, glide across the lake in a canoe, feel the thrill of the wind rushing past my face as I zipped down the zip line, and express myself in art and woodshop. I did things I had never done, and would never have dreamt of getting to do if I hadn’t been at the Painted Turtle. Thanks to generous donors, the Painted Turtle is brimmed with tons of awesome things like a Shamu shaped swimming pool, a grand dining hall, and even a movie star horse you can pet and ride.

chalk art
Meghan Foe
Chalk art in front of cabin

Now what would all these activities be if you weren’t comfortable? The camp provides beds that I know are comfortable, and the food is excellent. Every day, you will have three healthy meals, different every day with dessert coming with lunch and dinner. Each cabin has one nurse to take care of you and give you your medicine, and counselors to befriend you and make sure you’re comfortable. To raise your excitement, the camp holds events such as the Pinewood Derby which you can race a car of your own on a track, Stage Night, where you show off your talents to the camp, and Silly Olympics where you can cream your counselors with food, slime, and muck made with things I don’t want to know. What I do know is that at the Painted Turtle, I spent one week of my vacation, and it was a week well spent.


Northern California Comprehensive Thalassemia Center
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
747 52nd Street, Oakland CA 94609   •   Phone: (510) 428-3347   •   Fax: (510) 450-5647
© 2003-2012 Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland
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