Space still available at Camp Sickle Stars - - Jackson, MS

Space still available at Camp Sickle Stars

HOLMES COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Children living with a life threatening disease are invited to cast their worries aside for a few days and have some fun!

The Mississippi Sickle Cell Foundation is taking kids with sickle cell disease away to Camp Sickle Stars at the Holmes County State Park this Thursday.

Camp Sickle Stars is a four day sleep-away camp filled with lots of arts, crafts and fun.

The camp began 14 years ago.

It was created just for children living with sickle cell disease.

Children who have participated in the camp say they enjoy the arts and crafts and the fishing at Camps Sickle Stars.

Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder found primarily in people of African and Mediterranean descent.

A bone marrow transplant can cure the disease, but finding a bone marrow match is difficult.

Mattie Coburn works for the Mississippi Sickle Cell Foundation.

"Without many people on the registry, then is that a cure? We have to increase that registry to make sure donors are out there for patients when they do start searching," Coburn said.

The disease can cause patients lots of medical complications.

The purpose of Camp Sickle Stars is to help young patients connect and not worry about their illness.

"It gives the patients a chance to interact with children just like them in a non-medical setting," Coburn said.

This year's camp is offered to children ages 6 to 14.

Campers leave from the Jackson Medical Mall Thursday morning.

Doctors and nurses will keep a close eye on the children 24/7.

"We do have medicines and we're able to examine them to find out if there's anything serious going on and we have medications we can give them," said Dr. Mary Gail Smith, pediatric hematologist-oncologist at the Blair E.  Batson Children's Hospital.

Space is still available to join the camp.

"Just come on if you haven't signed up it's not too late to come on out there and have some fun," Coburn said.

For more information on Camp Sickle Stars or to learn more about becoming a donor for sickle cell patients, contact the Mississippi Sickle Cell Foundation at 601-366-5874.

Anyone interested can also email the foundation at

Parents can sign campers up until 9:00 Thursday morning.

The camp bus departs from the Jackson Medical Mall at 10:00am.

Campers will return Sunday, June 26th.

The camp is free.

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