On this World Diabetes Day, I’d like to talk about the thing that has truly made me the way I am. Diabetes does not define me, but the way I handle my diabetes does. There is one thing in my life that has contributed so much to my outlook on life and on diabetes.
It is honestly the greatest thing my parents could have ever done for me. Diabetes camp has given me a whole ‘nother family. People I can relate to and who can relate to me. People I can call or text or email or Facebook when I’m upset about something.
Because of diabetes camp, I have always been exposed to new and interesting treatments and devices for people with diabetes. It has inspired me to always want the newest and the best things. I love trying out new things so that I can figure out the best way for me to be healthy.
It has also given me a purpose. There are few things in this world that I love more than my campers. I love being a role model. I love showing them, not only how to take care of themselves, but how to live life the way they WANT to without diabetes getting in the way.
You know how when you love something so much you feel like you were put on this earth for that reason? I feel like fate has given me diabetes so that I can use to help others.
Camp is an undeniably important piece of growing up with diabetes. It saddens me that there are kids out there who can’t go to diabetes camp or who’s parents don’t think it is important.
I credit it as the number 1 reason why I am so comfortable with my diabetes and why I have lived this well for this long.
To find a diabetes camp near you please visit the Diabetes Education & Camping Association website.
This photo is me with my cabin mates and counselors at my first week at diabetes camp. August 1993.
And this is me with my cabin mates and campers in June 2013!