SCOTTSVILLE, Kentucky (July 15, 2015) — When you think of “magical” vacation spots, Scottsville, Ky., may not be the first place that comes to mind, but for the Collins family it’s their special place. When they roll through the gates of The Center for Courageous Kids (CCK) following their five hour road trip, they know all of the stresses of their everyday life are on hold for a few days and they’ll get to enjoy the same things families without medically fragile children do.
“It gives our family a chance to focus on having fun and spending time together, but we still know that the trained staff can handle all of the medical needs that might occur,” said Courtney Collins, a mother of two from Marietta, Ga. “It’s a much needed break from our normal lives and the hectic pace of school, work, doctor’s appointments, treatments.”
Collins’ 10 year old son has many medical challenges including epilepsy and primary immune deficiency, among other issues. He takes daily medication and every three weeks receives IViG, a blood product, for his immune deficiency, something he’ll continue for his lifetime. Her 14 year old daughter has asthma.
“On a social level, it’s great for my kids to be around others who have similar medical challenges and understand what our daily lives are like,” Collins said. “For my husband and me, it’s important to connect with other families experiencing similar situations. We form a supportive network. We love meeting the volunteers and have become volunteers as well.”
CCK is one of only a handful of year-round dedicated medical camps in the U.S. Since opening in 2008, it has served more than 20,000 medically fragile campers from 43 states and eight foreign countries. CCK is accessible for kids with a variety of disabilities and challenges. Children living with life-threatening illnesses and their families spend either a week or weekend, free of charge, having fun, finding respite, feeling normal and forgetting about their everyday struggles.
“Campers create memories of their first horseback ride, favorite camp song, catching the big fish, or taking center stage starring in a show of their own,” said Roger Murtie, CCK president and executive director. “These moments not only change the lives of the campers and their families, they change the lives of our volunteers and staff as well.”
The camp offers an on-site medical center with a helipad, an indoor aquatic complex, equestrian riding arena, bowling alley, gymnasium, climbing wall, boating and fishing, a theater and four camper lodges. For many families, the financial burden of their child’s medical issue means they wouldn’t normally be able to afford to do all the activities the kids get to do at camp without their stay being free. Murtie said support from companies like Toyota is crucial to its survival. The automaker donated $20,000 to CCK, which it feels is a great investment.
“Seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter from children and families who face immense challenges everyday – it’s clear this is a very special place,” said Rick Hesterberg,, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK). “Toyota is proud to partner with CCK to make these moments possible for families. We want to help people get where they need to go, both on the road and in life. This program provides a critical need for families already dealing with so much stress.”
CCK is the second stop of a three-day road trip Toyota team members are taking across Kentucky to visit partner organizations. The team members are visiting partners on-site to see in person the impact the organizations are making to help people go places, as individuals and as communities.
About The Center for Courageous Kids
The Center for Courageous Kids is a remarkable facility and program dedicated to children living with a variety of medical challenges and their families. Located in South Central Kentucky, CCK operates year-round. Throughout the summer months, weeklong camping sessions are specific to the ill child, and during the school year, family weekend retreats welcome the entire family. While CCK does not charge the camper or family to attend, programs are supported through donations from corporations, foundations, health partners and individuals with a heart for the medically fragile population served. Additionally, several opportunities are conducted throughout the year for wounded servicemen and women and military families. For more information, visit www.courageouskids.org.
About Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America (10 million+ in Kentucky), where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 42,000 people (more than 33,000 in the U.S., with 7,500 employed at our Georgetown, Kentucky plant). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.67 million cars and trucks (more than 2.35 million in the U.S.) in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.