Children’s Skin Disease Foundation

Children’s Skin Disease Foundation

The Children’s Skin Disease Foundation operates Camp Wonder   a medically staffed summer camp at Camp Arroyo’s facilities in Livermore. Camp Wonder is free to children with serious and fatal skin disease. For one week these children can forget their disease and have fun!  High school students can serve as volunteer counselors at Camp Wonder.  They have a special need for male counselors and prefer students interested in a profession in a health-related field. One week in June.

Children’s Skin Disease Foundation was the 16th birthday wish of Francesca Tenconi.  At eleven, Francesca was diagnosed with pemphigus foliceus, 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.

Francesca searched for a fun way to create a community for children with skin disease where they could also have fun.  She heard of a local camp site being built for children with special needs called Camp Arroyo and was granted a week of camp.  Francesca met Dr. Jenny Kim and Dr. Stefani Takahashi, both dermatologists who wanted to give back to their patients by starting a camp.  These three women joined forces to co-found Camp Wonder, welcoming the first campers in August of 2001.  Every summer since 2001, Camp Wonder has hosted thousands of children and their families.