Living American dream

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 22, 2011
The mother of a Manchester boy with a serious immune deficiency has praised Camp Simcha for giving him the opportunity of a lifetime.

Eight-year-old Alexander Cohen appeared in a music video and toured the New York sights after taking part in the charity's trip to the Catskills.

Alexander was accompanied by Manchester Camp Simcha volunteers Aharon Howich and Ruby Abenson, who supervised 24-hour care for the two-week trip. Other Manchester and Gateshead children supported by Camp Simcha were also taken to the States.

His mother Leeann said it was "the first time we have been apart since he was born. But at the camp in America there was a hospital with nurses and doctors and a physiotherapist to treat him.

"He is in Camp Simcha's music video, filmed at the Statue of Liberty."

She added that before the charity's help, "we were very isolated. It was difficult to go out as a family - it's so easy for Alexander to pick up an infection. The support takes the pressure off us as parents."

Pearl Lopian, who heads the northern service, said Camp Simcha was making "a massive difference" to families of children with serious illnesses.

Last updated: 11:14am, October 4 2011