Camp Teaches Children To Manage Diabetes

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Published on July 21, 2010 with No Comments

Diabetes presents unique challenges in childhood because of the level of independence required to manage the disease.

Your diabetic child can live with newfound confidence in managing his or her disease, just like more than 170 area children who participated recently in the American Diabetes Association’s Camp John Warvel in northern Indiana.  This year’s camp was made possible in part by a grant from the John W. Anderson Foundation, which operates in Lake and Porter counties.

This annual, week-long, residential camp offers, which has run for 55 years, offers traditional camp activities and ’round-the-clock medical supervision to support the unique needs of children who are living with diabetes.  This year, 174 children, ages 7 to 15, participated in the Camp John Warvel from June 6-12 at the YMCA’s Camp Crosley facility in North Webster.  Next year’s camp will take place in June, with exact dates to be confirmed this fall. For information regarding next year’s camp, call 317-352-9226, ext. 6732.

Diabetes presents unique challenges in childhood because of the level of independence required to manage the disease, including frequent finger pricks to check blood glucose levels, injections to replace the insulin that children with diabetes cannot make or process, and daily vigilance to prevent complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputations and early death. 

“Children with diabetes often feel very alone and may not know other kids in their communities or schools living with the daily challenges of diabetes. They may also have received very little direct diabetes education at the time of their diagnosis.  Camp John Warvel offers kids a week-long fun experience where these children are able to interact with others with diabetes, to establish long-term friendships, and to learn life-changing diabetes management skills. Peer support and the knowledge necessary to manage diabetes enable these kids to establish habits that lead to good diabetes care, which is essential in order for them to prevent future complications of their disease,” said Linda DiMeglio, MD, MPH, Co-Medical director for Camp John Warvel and past president of the American Diabetes Association’s Indiana Area Community Leadership Board.

The John W. Anderson Foundation gave $5,000 this year to support the activities and programs of Camp John Warvel.

“We’re thankful to the John W. Anderson Foundation for its generosity, which has made a difference by helping us fund a week of life-changing camp experiences for children with diabetes,” said Jennifer Pferrer, Executive Director of the American Diabetes Association – Indiana Area. 

Diabetes education is at the foundation of all activities at Camp John Warvel.  This year, campers enjoyed a nearly one-to-one staff-to-camper ratio, with 99 medical volunteers from the American Diabetes Association on hand all week, in addition to approximately 60 staff counselors from the YMCA facility that hosted the camp.  Through daily activities such as hiking, swimming and horseback riding, campers learned how to manage their blood glucose levels with techniques such as carbohydrate counting, finger pricks and insulin shots.

Through the generosity of partners like the John W. Anderson Foundation, the costs of food, lodging, camp programming, medical personnel and diabetes management supplies are provided to campers at Camp John Warvel.  The American Diabetes Association extends its appreciation to the generous donor organizations whose gifts have made 2010 Camp John Warvel possible in Indiana: ABATE of Indiana, Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, Eli Lilly & Company, Indiana Central Association of Diabetes Educators, John W. Anderson Foundation, Kosciusko County Community Foundation, Martin Foundation, Medtronic Foundation, Noble County Community Foundation, Novo Nordisk, Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charities, Steuben County Community Foundation, Summer Youth Program Fund – Lilly Endowment, Summer Youth Program Fund – Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Suzanne’s Fund for Children – Community Foundation of Boone County, Wells County Community Foundation, Whitley County Community Foundation.

In addition, the American Diabetes Association wishes to thank to the following companies for their donations of medical supplies for use at 2010 Camp John Warvel: Abbott Laboratories, Animas Corporation, Bayer, BD, Dex4, Eli Lilly & Company, LifeScan, Inc., Medtronic, OmniPod, Roche Diagnostics ACCU-CHEK, Sanofi Aventis.

About the American Diabetes Association:

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes, delivers services to hundreds of communities, provides objective and credible information and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, its mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information, call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

American Diabetes Association camp made possible with support from John W. Anderson Foundation of Lake, Porter counties

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