Camp Catch Your Breath celebrates its 24th anniversary this year; with a week-long camp July 20-25 for children ages 8 to13 who suffer from asthma.

Primarily sponsored and funded by United Hospital Center, with assistance from the American Lung Association, the camp will again be held at Jackson’s Mill 4-H Camp, offering 24-hour professional staffing to monitor asthma medications, offer asthma education and nutrition classes.

The specialty camp is capable of handling 70 campers who are taken on a first come, first serve basis. If a camper were to have to pay entirely for attending, cost would be $500; but thanks to hospital funding, local businesses and individual contributions, costs have been kept to $70 per child with scholarships available for those who need assistance.

During camp, the children will learn by sharing their experiences, make decisions about their conditions and express their feelings about having asthma. In addition to the educational component, children will participate in games, sports, swimming and crafts.

A physician will be present at all times and emergency medical support will be readily available. The camp director, Sonny Hoskinson, also from UHC, is a registered pharmacist experienced in coordinating asthma camps. The camp counselors are respiratory therapists and nurses. Staff from the American Lung Association will also be in attendance.

This asthma camp is the only one of its kind in West Virginia; the camp draws from as far away as Philadelphia, Virginia Beach and Baltimore.

To learn more visit http://asthmacamp.uhcwv.org. Registration for the camp can be accomplished by calling the American Lung Association at 304.342.6600; UHC Pharmacy at 681.342.1560 or emailing UHC pharmacist Sonny Hoskinson at hoskinsons@wvumedicine.org.

To ensure the camp continues to make a difference in the quality of life for asthmatic children; call Leisa Dearth at 304.669.1999 for more information on contributing.