Treating the heart, not just the skin
Every year, thousands of children in the U.S. suffer from painful, chronic and sometimes life-threatening skin diseases. Any disease that touches a young person can be devastating and heartbreaking, but, unlike other many other serious illnesses, skin diseases are obvious – out in the open for the world to see. There’s no hiding, and, oftentimes, no cure. There’s only isolation, hopelessness and pain. And yet the physical pain these children live with is nothing compared to the hurt they experience on a deeper level -- an emotional suffering that lives with them daily because of their appearance.
Children with skin disease often feel embarrassed in public, leading to seclusion and loneliness. Families lose friends and sometimes suffer financially as one parent may have to quit a job in order to care for their child full-time. Some treatments take hours, and parents are often the child’s primary caregiver, shouldering full responsibility for the constant medical attention they may require. Diseases of the skin don’t just affect the child but, healthy siblings as well as the parents.
How we help
The Children’s Skin Disease Foundation (CSDF) was created to improve the quality of life of children with skin disease. We aim to heal the heart, not just the skin. These diseases might be skin deep, but the emotional impact cuts much deeper. That’s why we provide emotional, as well as financial, support to families inflicted with these hardships.
Childhood without limits
At Camp Wonder, CSDF offers children with skin disease the chance to experience summer camp. During this one special week, children who are often isolated can make lifelong friends, laugh and leave their embarrassment behind. CSDF covers all costs of camp, including round-trip transportation.
Children with epidermolysis bullosa, pemphigus, ichthyosis, alopecia, vitiligo, eczema, psoriasis, BCCN, skin cancer and other skin diseases are welcome to apply.
CSDF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. We operate solely on donations, and over 94% of the funds we receive go directly toward our programs and research for cures.
After being diagnosed with a rare skin disease at 11 years old, Francesca Tenconi felt there was a lack of support for children with skin disease and their families. Francesca felt an organization was necessary to focus on the unique problems of children and teenagers who suffer from skin disease. For her Sweet Sixteen, she didn’t ask for presents - she asked for donations. These donations created the Children’s Skin Disease Foundation and helped establish Camp Wonder.
Our mission is to improve the quality of life of children with skin disease by creating a strong support network and increasing education and awareness about these severe, life-threatening conditions. We are also dedicated to teaching children and their families about skin health: the impacts of UV radiation, how to protect our skin and why it's important. We also raise money to fund medical research to improve treatment of and find cures for skin diseases that afflict children.