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Sometimes having diabetes offers saving graces and pleasurable moments. That's certainly the intent of the Gary Hall, Jr. Foundation, which has just announced that it will offer a five-day Caribbean cruise, starting December 1, 2008, for people with diabetes and their loved ones.
Guests will depart from Miami on Carnival Line's M/S Destiny, bound for the Bahamas and Grand Turk. Along with enjoying the cruise ship's usual amenities, they'll spend some of their time participating in seminars, cooking demonstrations, support group meetings and testing the latest technologies available for diabetes management.
They will also get to interact with Gary Hall, Jr., a three-time Olympic swimmer with 10 medals. (To see our previous coverage of Gary, go to "Gary Hall, JR.", "We Could All Learn a Lesson From Gary Hall, Jr." and "Gary Hall, Type 1 Swimming Champion, Uses His Sponsors to Promote Diabetes Awareness.")
Hall was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1999 when he was told he would no longer be able to compete at an elite level as an athlete. He proved the pessimists wrong, going on to win gold medals at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. He is currently training in hopes of making a fourth U.S. Olympic team in 2008.
Hall says his success gives people with diabetes around the world proof that with proper management of the disease, there are no limitations stopping them from pursuing their dreams.
"In some ways, managing diabetes is a lot like my sport," he says. "Ultimately swimming is an individual sport. You stand up on the block by yourself, but to get to the starting block takes a team. It's the same with diabetes management.
"We're bringing together a team of experts that will help people learn how to better manage their diabetes, including endocrinologists, diabetes educators and nutritionists who will work with the cruise passengers. But of course there will be plenty of time for fun, too. "
"Attending the cruise will also give people with diabetes and their families the opportunity to meet others with the disease," says Kirstie Bolitho, executive director of the Gary Hall, Jr. Foundation. "You will be able to meet other people like Gary who are doing extraordinary things despite having diabetes. Attendees will see first-hand that having diabetes isn't something that will hold you down from enjoying life to the fullest. We encourage people with diabetes to 'Go Live It!'"
Prices start at $422 per guest for the five-day cruise (based on double occupancy; includes port charges, taxes and fees, but not air fare). To reserve a spot, call 1-877-874-7776 and reference Group # 5V1H35.
Editor's Note: The starting price for this cruise is one of the most reasonable we've seen.
Dec 23, 2007