NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The back-to-school essay, “What I did this summer,” took on special meaning this year for a bunch of kids from New Jersey.

AUDIO: WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot Talks With Campers 

Ruth Gottscho was 15 years old when she died of kidney disease in 1960, before dialysis was widely available. That same year, her parents founded the Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation to help other New Jersey kidney patients.

Eva Gottscho, Ruth’s mother, wanted to make a sleep-away camp a reality for children with kidney disorders.

So in 1975, with the help of the Frost Valley YMCA Camp in the Catskills, Gottscho’s wish came true.

The group provides a summer camp experience to kids on dialysis or with transplants who normally are bound to homes and hospitals.

To date, the foundation has paid medical and camp expenses for more than 1,600 kidney campers.