“To give is to love”
TACKERS bring together children who have have had transplants from around the world, to participate in camps where they have the opportunity to meet peers who have shared the same experience.
Since TACKERS (Europe) was founded in 2002, fifteen winter camps have been held in Anzère, Switzerland where hundreds of children, from around 35 different countries, have participated. The aim is for the children to develop their independence by trying new sports such as skiing, snowboarding, dog sleighing, scuba-diving and para-gliding and to develop a support network to help their families and each other.
The camps provide an environment outside of the hospital to educate the children to comply with their post-transplant medication programme, promote good health and a fulfilling life and most importantly have fun! Camp rebuilds their confidence and shows them and their parents that they can live life independently, like others. It is also a unique way to educate and promote the positive results of organ donation and transplantation to transplant recipients, healthcare professionals and the general public. Our camps also show donor families the result of their “gift of life”.
At the first two camps, a race was held in memory of a child whose organs were donated to help others – in 2002, Nicholas Green and in 2003, Thomas Rodin. Since 2004, the race has been held in memory of another child, Phillip Bates, one of our original TACKERS campers, who featured in our film “To give is to love”. Phillip died in January of that year. The 2015, 2016 & 2017 camps were a tribute to Gaël Blanc and the race was named ‘L’étoile de Gaël’
Liz Schick, founder of TACKERS (Europe), hopes to expand the TACKERS programme to include more camps, in different locations throughout the year and set up an exchange programme for transplanted children around the world. Read more about Liz Schick.