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Our Story


Children impacted by skin disease represent a vulnerable population. While kids are affected by every manner of any disease, the burden of pediatric skin diseases are uniquely severe in the way they are compounded by the psychosocial consequences of a chronic, visual disease; often associated with much embarrassment, loss of daily function and low self-esteem. Children's Skin Disease Foundation's (CSDF) mission is to improve the lives of children with life-threatening and chronic skin disease and their families by offering wonderful experiences that will enrich their lives and empower them to have a childhood without limits.  


CSDF was the 16th birthday wish of Francesca Tenconi.  At eleven, Francesca was diagnosed with pemphigus foliaceous, a rare skin disease. Having been an active, outgoing child who was on a competitive swimming team, one of the most frustrating and emotionally difficult parts about her diagnosis was looking different and feeling isolated.  She yearned to meet other children with skin disease who could understand the burdens of such a visual illness. For her 16th birthday, she asked family and friends to donate money to start a non-profit that would address the unique challenges of children's skin disease. CSDF was founded a week after her birthday on June 3, 2000.  Our two main programs are Camp Wonder and Wonder Wish to help children in North America.


Francesca searched for a way to create a community for children with skin disease where they could also have fun.  Francesca was offered a week at The Taylor Family Foundation, built by Elaine and Barry Taylor for children with special needs.  Francesca then met Dr. Jenny Kim and Dr. Stefani Takahashi, both dermatologists who wanted to give back to their patients by starting a camp.  These women joined forces to co-found Camp Wonder, welcoming the first campers in August of 2001. Since 2001, Camp Wonder has hosted thousands of children and their families.


In 2017, CSDF added Wonder Wish as another way to help children and families with skin disease.


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