MIAMI (CBS4)- A special kind of spring break is happening this week in South Florida. It’s a camp sponsored by Miami Children’s Hospital for a group of people who, for one week, just want to be like everyone else.
The camp is called V.A.C.C. Camp which stands for Ventilation Assisted Children’s Center. The camp is made up of volunteers and staff from Miami Children’s Hospital.
The week-long event consists of several activities including a day at the beach where Miami Beach Fire Rescue set up wooden planks over the sand at Nikki Beach to serve as the runway for the group, many in wheelchairs, could make their way over to the water.
“It allows us to do things that we could never even imagine doing before,” said Maylan Chavez a 16-year-old camper who has attended the camp for 12 years straight.
Chavez has spinal muscle atrophy. Chavez and almost 50 others are taking part in the free week which serves as a vacation for families with members who rely on ventilators and other medically necessary equipment to live.
The camp was founded 25 years ago and serves families from around the country.
“These kids are prisoners at Pediatric ICU units. They go home and they are prisoners in the house. They come to camp and it is freedom,” said Dr. Moises Simpser who created the camp and loves to see the families having a good time.
“I want to cry. To have this much support and this much fun at the same time feels good,” said one mother, whose 7-year-old was being carried into the water by volunteers.
Chavez said the week gave her and others the chance to have the opportunity to do anything.
“Since we can’t do certain things, we feel left out sometimes, but this week we are all equal. We can do anything,” said Chavez.