Kids of Courage Is Off To San Francisco


kids-of-courageThe inspiring Kids of Courage organization is hosting 150 campers and 260 staff in San Francisco, California this week in what is turning out to be the largest trip of it’s kind anywhere in the world. The organization runs medically supervised summer and year round travel and camp programs for the sickest children in the Jewish world.

The medical team headed up by Dr. Stuart Ditchek is comprised of highly trained physicians, paramedics, critical care nurses and others. The counselor to camper ration is anywhere from 1:1 to 3:1 depending on the complexity of the camper. The organization was founded by Dr. Ditchek, Howie Kafka and Ari Adlerstein.

The children on the San Francisco trip have a wide variety of illnesses and high risk medical problems including Familial Dysautonomia, Muscular Dystrophy, Cancer, Cystic Fibrosis, Nemaline Myopathy, and paralysis with ventilator dependence and many others. The medical staff is administering 1,100 to 1,300 doses of medications per day and more if health emergencies arise. 5 of the campers are ventilator dependent and 74 have feeding tubes to assist in their nutrition and hydration.

The organization runs a mobile infirmary coordinated by paramedic Howie Kafka. Many campers will receive in-flight oxygen

Last year, they flew the children and dozens of medically trained volunteers to Los Angeles at no cost to the families.

“In addition to setting up what we call a, ‘hospital in the sky,’ I think it’s the most fun airplane ride anyone can ever take complete with pillow fights at 33,000 feet,” said Dr. Ditchek.

He said planning for this year’s trip to San Francisco is a huge logistical feat. “We’re talking about 1,100 to 1,150 individual doses of medication in a one-day period. That’s probably the equivalent of two children’s hospitals.”

While in San Francisco, the Kids of Courage week-long adventure will feature a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure, a day at Raging Water, California’s largest water park, a visit to Alcatraz, a tour of the Jelly Belly candy factory, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and a tour of the NASA center.

The trip to has a price tag of about $820,000 and is completely funded by donations.

Kids of Courage is a charitable organization. There is no charge to any participants. There are no salaries or bonuses for any staff member. All staff is fully volunteer.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. May all the children, and staff and their families, and organizers of this massive scale kiddush Hashem, be blessed, and all the campers a speedy Refuah Shleima

  2. there is an unsung heroine of this fabulous organization, Sara Leah Kaplan. Her life is totally devoted to Chesed and never asks for anything in return. Much thanks to all the amazing volunteers. May Hashem repay you as only he can.

  3. Yes, agree with #6. Kudos to Sara Leah Kaplan for all that she does for KOC. Doesn’t seek personal publicity nor appears in the limelight, but she lives to do chesed for KOC and other worthy causes.