veebar3Any family vacation requires a great deal of planning, but planning to travel with a special needs child requires careful consideration of everything from medications to dietary needs. Finding a travel destination that not only offers fun and relaxation for everyone, but also considers special needs is a little like finding a diamond in the rough.

Vee Bar Guest Ranch
, located just outside of Laramie, Wyoming is just that diamond.

This summer, from July 11-17th, the Ranch will be hosting it’s Week of PHEnomial Fun for children with Phenylketonuria (PKU) and their families.

PKU is a rare condition that causes the individual to be unable to break down the amino acid phenylalanine (PHE). PHE is found in many common foods and PKU patients are required to follow an extremely specialized diet to prevent serious health complications ranging from skin rashes and seizures to marked mental delays. With proper treatment and stringent attention to dietary needs and restrictions, the PKU patient can live a full life.


This drive to live an abundant life is what, Kari Kilmer, most wishes to impress upon the children who visit the Vee Bar this summer.veebar2

Kari, Vee Bar’s manager and a PKU patient herself, knows firsthand what it’s like to struggle with a rare diagnosis. Although this is Vee Bar’s first PKU event, Kari has been involved in PKU camps and has always served as a role model for youths dealing with PKU. Through Kari, a successful businesswoman, the kids can see firsthand that PKU does not have to define their lives. She will be available throughout the week to offer support and encouragement on coping with and living beyond the diagnosis of PKU.

Vee Bar will offer family activities such as horseback riding, trout fishing in the nearby river, tubing and hiking. The cabins are rustic and roomy with the larger size accommodating 5-8 family members.Families are encouraged to reconnect within their family units and with other PKU families and share their experiences.

During this PHEnominal week, the Vee Bar’s own chef will work with a team familiar with PKU diet needs, to serve a specialized, lower-protein, PKU diet. Denver Children’s Hospital Nutritionist, Laurie Bernstein, will be on site for part of the week to offer her expertise on nutrition and meal planning for the PKU patient.

If you or someone you love is living with PKU, I encourage you to visit Vee Bar’s website @ for more detailed information about the Ranch and this event. Vee Bar is currently accepting reservations and is offering special pricing for these PHEnominal kids and their families.