Camp Purple Live is a Camp for children and teens with Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, collectively known as IBD.
Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic autoimmune diseases that affect the digestive system, collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Both cause debilitating pain, hospitalisations, repeat surgeries and a severely reduced quality of life. New Zealand has the highest incidence rate of IBD in the world. Despite this IBD remains a closet disease, shrouded in silence and relatively unknown.
Dealing with IBD as a child is even more challenging. It means missed school days, frequent hospitalisations, and often social isolation. That is why the Crohn’s and Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust (CCNZ) organised the first NZ based summer camp earlier this year. Camp Purple Live!
The first ever Camp Purple Live was held at Camp Adair in Auckland. There was a range of children between 9 and 19 years of age, from all over New Zealand. Many of these children had never before been to camp due to their disease.
The camp is extremely important. It helps the children build self-confidence, independence, self-esteem, resilience and empowerment. All the things that normal kids get from camps. However the key difference being that they are doing this in a safe and supportive environment, geared to children with IBD. They get to meet kids their own age, usually for the first time, who understand the challenges that people with IBD face every day. It is important for them to develop support networks with their peers and make lifelong friends. It lets them know that they are not alone.
At the camp, the kids participate in all sorts of activities: mudslides, raft and bridge building, abseiling, confidence courses, kayaking, air rifles, archery, high swings and team building exercises. Many will step, for the first time, outside their comfort zones. It was extremely inspiring to watch a teen who, weeks before, just had a feeding tube removed, stepping up and jumping off a platform in mid-air to attempt a high swing, not just once, but three times!
Our next camp will be held on the 23rd – 28th January 2016 and we are in dire need of funding. While we have a team of 30+ volunteers and professional staff, many of whom have IBD themselves, the camp is only made possible through the generous support of our sponsors.
Please watch the video from our last camp and consider making our next camp a reality.
I am on the Funding Committee for Camp Purple Live 2016. I too suffer from IBD and this is a cause I am extremely passionate about. I was lucky enough to be accepted as a volunteer for the last Camp Purple Live and to be selected again this time round. Please give generously.
Crohn's and Colitis New Zealand is a charitable trust whose aims are to provide support, advice and information to interested individuals and people who have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and their families and caregivers, and educational material to medical professionals and organisations within New Zealand.