The Maryland Alliance of PKU Families, Inc. (MAPKUF) exists to support children and families in Maryland whose
lives are affected by the genetic disease, Phenylketonuria, or PKU.
Children born with PKU risk severe mental and physical handicap if treatment doesn't begin just days after birth.
Fortunately the PKU test finds almost all of these children so that proper treatment can be provided. Treatment for PKU
consists of a very strict diet that eliminates virtually all protein.
The PKU diet means that people with PKU cannot eat meat, fish, dairy products, many grain products, some vegetables,,
and many other foods that are high in protein. People with PKU drink a special "milk" or formula supplement that provides,
many of the nutrients they need. They also generally eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and specially engineered foods for a
low protein diet. PKU people are on the PKU diet for their whole lives.
The MAPKUF helps families with PKU. The MAPKUF provides information, diet assistance, and guidance to newly diagnosed families.,
Most of all, the MAPKUF helps children with PKU. It can be painful to be a child who is seen as "differen ". Since PKU
children eat very differently than other children, this can lead to feelings of alienation.
To help combat those feelings, the MAPKUF brings PKU children together with other PKU children. This is done at a Spring
picnic, a Summer camp, and a Fall harvest outing. At all three of these events, PKU children have an opportunity to
feel "normal". All of the kids there are on the same diet and deal with the same issues. They get to play and have a
good time without worrying about their diet for a change.
By far our most significant event of the year is our annual summer camp, Camp Huber. This camp is held at Hashawha Environmental
Center in Carroll County, MD. Hashawha Environmental Center is a 320 acre park and has many amenities helpful to conducting a PKU camp.
These include cabins, meeting areas, a swimming pool, a commercial kitchen, hiking trails and a small lake.