SMS is a clinically recognisable chromosome microdeletion. It’s caused by a missing piece (deletion) of part of one number17 chromosome. This program is held every two-three years in conjunction with Professor Smith (co-founder of SMS). She returns to Australia to update and provide information on her research for these children. It’s held over four days from Friday, 2 pm till Monday 2 pm and families come from all over Australia and New Zealand. This is the only program of its type in the world and has been operating since 2003.
For this program Camp Breakaway involves the entire family, and we run three programmes over the four days. We aim to celebrate the achievements of all SMS children and to give them a chance to mix with other SMS children in a safe, calm and supportive environment. To also give the siblings of SMS children the opportunity to talk with other siblings with similar shared experiences.
To pamper the parents, we coordinate ‘parents only ‘time, whilst proving entertainment and activities for the SMS child and their siblings.
Professor Smith , a world leader in this field, brings her new research and updates to the families. Over the weekend she has an appointment with each family. The program is limited to a certain number of families but there is given an opportunity for day visitors to attend and join in Professor Smith’s talks and updates. This creates an atmosphere where parents feel comfortable to discuss their experiences with parents with similar shared experiences. Over the years this has led to the establishment of a support network that has grown in strength from year to year.