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    Children Worldwide Attend the Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation Camp

    STONY BROOK, N.Y., April 28, 2010 – After several years of collecting soda can tabs from many area companies and organizations, the Kidney Transplant Program at Stony Brook University Medical Center is using the money from the recycled tabs to donate $10,000 to The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation’s Summer Camp for Children with Kidney Disease. The New Jersey-based foundation, which instituted the soda can tab program, funds the only summer camp in the United States where children with kidney disorders share cabins and participate in all camp activities with kids who do not have such disorders.

    Each year at least several children and teenagers treated for kidney disease at Stony Brook University Medical Center join dozens of other kids from around the country and world to attend the Frost Valley YMCA Camp in the Catskill Mountains. One patient, Alana Braschowitz, 15, who has had to have two kidney transplants, has attended the camp numerous times and will be a counselor-in-training during summer 2010. Alana is doing well, does not need dialysis treatment, and attends Commack High School in Commack, N.Y.

    “The camp is awesome, and I can’t wait to go and be a counselor-in-training so I can help to inspire other kids who are still going through a lot,” said Alana during an April 23 gathering with members of the Kidney Transplant Program and Judith Gottscho-Eichinger, Executive Director of The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation.

    April is National Organ Donor Awareness Month. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the need for organ donations is growing. On any given day, nearly 100,000 people nationwide are in need of an organ for transplant, including individuals who need a kidney.

    “The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation does wonderful work, and we wanted to take part in the recycling program to help support their efforts for the children,” said David Bekofsky, Administrator of the Kidney Transplant Program. He explained that SBUMC was a drop off point for recycling tabs, with a groups such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Grumman Retire Club, and other local organizations, companies, churches and individuals contributing at various times.

    The Kidney Transplant Program at SBUMC provides therapeutic and consult services for individuals with kidney disease, transplant recipients, and those in need of a transplant. The surgical team has performed more than 1,000 kidney transplants.

    This coming summer the foundation will sponsor two camp sessions in Frost Valley. The first session is June 27 to July 9, and the second session is July 11 to July 23. For more information about the foundation and the camp for kids, visit



    At an gathering to mark a $10,000 donation given by the Kidney Transplant Program at Stony Brook University Medical Center to the Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation’s Summer Camp for Children with Kidney Disease, are, from left: Katarina Supe-Markovina, M.D., SBUMC pediatric nephrologist; transplant team members Wendy Schulijan, Linda Kurzin, and Lisa Etter, R.N.; Rita Braschowitz, and her daughter, patient Alana Braschowitz; Judy Gottscho-Eichinger, Executive Director, The Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation; and transplant team members Steve Knapik, R.N., Carrie Comellas, R.N., and Florence Christie, A.N.P.