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Kids with medical needs spend carefree day on the beach thanks to special camp

By Trish Christakis,


A day at the beach for special kids 01:57

MIAMI - It was a day for kids to be kids. Enjoy time on the beach, swimming, flying kites, and more. Something these children with special needs don't get to do as often.

Nearly a dozen children who are dependent on ventilators were able to spend time with their families in Miami Beach on Tuesday without a care in the world.

"It's not only today, but it's a whole week, it started on Saturday, they go sailing and they go bowling and they go into the water again on the beach. It's fantastic and for us, that's why we do it because we see it in their faces," said Dr. Maria Franco, director of Ventilation Assisted Children's Center Camp.

That's the goal of the VACC Camp to give the kids, their siblings, and their parents carefree and memorable days.

It also gives the children with medical limitations the opportunity to socialize with other kids doing normal activities, something Dr. Franco wanted.

"So they can feel comfortable, feel normal as much as they can and so go for many more," she said.

"We started coming here in 2016, so we've gotten to know a bunch of the families, we've connected through social media, so it's great to see their miracles happening, even when we leave camp and then to reunite again," said Michello Croce, a mother to one of the children attending the camp.

Something the families and Miami Beach Fire Rescue look forward to yearly

"As for us to interact with people when it's not an emergency, and especially with somebody's families who have traveled so far, it's something that is gratifying for us and it fills us with happiness and joy to be able to give back and help, you know, make this a special day for them," said Victor White, Chief of Training with Miami Beach Fire Rescue.

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