Every spring since 1999, the Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA) has distributed our publication to their young campers. In honor of their youthful enthusiasm, our springtime issue always focuses on people who inspire us, from the young to the old. In this issue, we bring you the stories of people who refuse to let their diabetes limit them, people whose example re-ignites our determination to live our very best and healthiest lives. As a publisher, I am always seeking inspiration, and each of these individuals is a fresh reminder of what we can do if we put our minds to it.
When Ken Kotch was young, he used to tell his friends that he had a "broken pancreas" to explain his type 1 diabetes. Diagnosed in 1988 at eight years old, initially Kotch had no idea what it all meant. Describing his pancreas as "broken" just made sense to him at the time
One of the most inspiring personalities of the 2010 Vancouver Games, Olympic cross-country skier Kris Freeman sheds his skis and poles this week to kick off his 6th annual diabetes summer camp tour with Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly Diabetes). Freeman, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 10 years ago at age 19, will share his amazing comeback story from coast to coast and encourage children with diabetes to continue pursuing their dreams.
While the words "diabetes" and "camp" may not sound like they belong in the same sentence for most people, they sure do for thousands of kids across the country. Diabetes camp is their time to share experiences, learn, and have fun with other kids who have diabetes. You'll find the usual camping activities like hiking, arts and crafts, boating, swimming, and sitting around the campfire, but also lessons on adjusting your insulin pump to compensate for sports and how to give yourself an injection.
The Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA) mission is to "promote communication, provide education, share resources, and serve as a worldwide voice to advance diabetes education and camping programs that meet the diverse needs of individuals and families." DECA provides an international databse of diabetes camping organizations, and "Best Practices" tools for diabetes camp management.
Dr. Stan De Loach is a bicultural, trilingual, Certified Diabetes Educator (one of the first 13 in Mexico) and clinical psychologist, not to mention a pianist, composer, and writer. Born and educated in the U.S., he has been a resident of Mexico for decades, and his first love is the annual bilingual diabetes camp that he co-founded, the four-day Campamento Diabetes Safari in Mexico..
CHICAGO, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Chicago Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler and Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) have already helped send 44 children to American Diabetes Association diabetes camps next summer - with four games left in the NFL season.
How many times during your work with young people and their families have you wished that you could really help them through a rough time in their lives? Young people with diabetes and their families often feel overwhelmed, both physically and emotionally, by all that they must learn and manage. They can feel very alone if they don't know anyone who can understand their diabetes fears and trials.
The second annual "Caring and Sharing Weekend" was held last weekend at the Double H Ranch in Lake Luzerne, New York. The free three-day weekend, which is organized by Pump Wear Inc., offered 15 families in the diabetes community an opportunity to relax, bond, and become inspired. The families, who either recommended themselves or were recommended by someone else, enjoyed beautiful weather, horseback riding, swimming, campfires, lots of hugs, and memories.
It was in the spring of 2005 that I received a call from the director of the diabetes camp in the state where I lived and worked as a sales rep for a blood glucose meter company. He was calling to ask if I would volunteer as a counselor at the week-long camp, which served around 200 campers, the vast majority with type 1 diabetes. I'd known for years that counselors were always in demand at the camp, but had never stepped forward to volunteer. I'd heard the stories of how tough and exhausting it was keeping up with your group, performing 2:00 AM blood sugar checks, and ensuring that they all stayed safe and had fun. Frankly, I'd always had serious doubts as to whether I was up to it. This, however, was the first time that I had been directly asked to volunteer, and something inside me made me grudgingly agree. As I drove to the campsite to begin that week in June, though, I'd be lying if I did not admit to being as nervous as any of the kids who were attending.
According to a global survey studying children with diabetes, current healthcare systems are failing to give adequate social and psychological support to young people with diabetes. This lack of support often leads to poor control of their disease, resulting in long-term health complications.
The diagnosis of type 1 diabetes peaks at 13 to 14 years of age, but at any age it immediately requires children and adolescents to learn many complex facets of glycemic self-management. Dr. Elliot Joslin's belief of 85 years ago, that education is not just part of the treatment of diabetes, but rather the treatment itself, still holds true.
My husband and I have nine children. Elliott is our oldest and when he was diagnosed with type 1 at age 11 in 1996, we were blindsided. Neither my husband, nor I, nor anyone in our extended family had diabetes. Elliot had all of the classic symptoms: excessive thirst, frequent urination, uncontrollable hunger, occasional blurry vision, and (something I think a lot of parents don't recognize as a sign) bedwetting.
The 2008 Amputee Coalition of America’s annual national conference in Atlanta June 19 through 22 set new attendance records, driven by interest in the proposed federal prosthetic parity law and other issues of importance to amputees.
This list has been
provided by the Diabetes Education & Camping Association. To see the complete list, please visit the digital edition at the following link: http://digital.diabeteshealth.com/browse/08/04/40.html
LifeScan, a Johnson & Johnson company that manufactures OneTouch blood glucose meters, is sponsoring an online sweepstakes for children with diabetes that will offer the opportunity to attend a diabetes camp for free this summer.
Swaying in rhythm like drunk fans singing their team fight song, we
campers bellowed our camp theme, clapping and banging on dining
tables: "Shock, shock for Camp Firefly! We take the insulin - try not to cry!"
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three, and I have
lived with it for 62 years. I can still remember my mother learning
to inject insulin into an orange at Hermann Hospital in Houston,
Six years ago, Julie DeFruscio’s two-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Two years later, her 13-year-old son was also diagnosed with type 1. And four months after that, her ten-year-old son diagnosed himself with diabetes - unfortunately, he was right.
Often kids with type 1
diabetes feel isolated. Even a sleepover is problematic, because
other parents are often afraid to take on the care of a diabetic
youngster. And finding a friend with diabetes is a challenge because
it’s rare that anybody else in town has it: Only about one of
every 600 children is affected.
There are few kinds of diabetes education
that are more beneficial for youth than
diabetes camp. The “father of diabetes
treatment,” Elliot P. Joslin, often referred to
camps as “islands of safety for children with
The Barton Center for Diabetes Education, Inc., of North Oxford, Massachusetts, is offering a range of overnight and day camping experiences for children with type 1 diabetes and their families in locations throughout the northeastern United States. The center recently launched day camps in several satellite locations, including New York City's Central Park and the towns of Newton and Worchester in Massachusetts.
On January 14, at the fourth annual Diabetes Camping conference held at the Clara Barton Diabetes Center in North Oxford, Massachusetts, TheraSense, Inc., of Alameda, California, presented the Diabetes Camping Association (DCA) with a $10,000 scholarship in honor of DCA Executive Director Zula Walters, who is preparing for retirement.
There is no doubt that camps are an educational and fun experience for kids with diabetes. But what about the big kids? Diabetes camps for adults age 17 and older do exist, and like camps for kids offer similar experiences.
There are an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 young people who attend diabetes camps each summer. Summer camps provide young people, ages 6 to 18, an opportunity to effectively manage their diabetes in an environment that is educational, safe and fun.
It's springtime and for most people this means spring cleaning or new romance. It holds another very special meaning for me and my family, however. It's the time of year I reserve a place for my family at diabetes camp. Five years ago, my son Joey, then two, was diagnosed with diabetes, and for the past three summers our family has been spending one week at diabetes camp.
As a teenager, Chris Dudley was diagnosed with type I diabetes. At the time he was told that a person with diabetes could not become a professional basketball player. Through hard work and excellent control of his diabetes, Dudley proved that this was a fallacy. Today, Dudley is the starting center for the Portland Trail Blazers and one of the National Basketball Association's top defensive players.
Vivian Murray, RD, a type I for 32 years, is a camp director for children with diabetes. She was recently anticipating the possible problems she might encounter this summer supervising 230 enthusiastic kids.
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