Kids of Courage – Chesed on the Road


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koc.jpgKids of Courage is hosting 87 campers and 135 staff in Orlando Florida 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 Orlando 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 has been administering over 700 doses of medications per day. Four of the campers are ventilator dependent and 40 have feeding tubes to assist in their nutrition and hydration.

koc2.jpgWhile in Orlando, the group is visiting Disney, Universal Studios, Nickelodeon theme park, Islands of Adventure, the Pirate Show adventure and Seaworld. The group is staying at the beautiful International Plaza Resort and Spa. They flew on a specialized charter flight on Continental Airlines with 18 children on oxygen during flight.

The organization runs a mobile infirmary coordinated by paramedic Howie Kafka and has coordinated the Orlando medical coverage with Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children who have coordinated all ambulance escort for the group and in-hospital extended care.

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.

For more information on the group, visit them at

(YWN Desk – NYC)


  1. Oh Wow. Talk about unbelievable chesed. Ribono Shel Olam, mi ke’amcho yisroel, goi echod b’oretz. Nobody asks these kids which sect of judaism they come from. Pure ahavas yisroel.