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  • Phyllis Kaplan

The Importance of Diabetes Camp

You may already know this, but I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 2. Growing up I didn't ever meet anyone else besides an older cousin, who had diabetes. I was always the odd kid out because of it. I didn't know how to give myself my own insulin injection until I was 12 which meant I couldn't do sleepovers or anything else like that other kids my age did. In school, if I didn't feel well because of diabetes they always sent me home. When I was 11 I wanted to try camp so that summer I tried day camp While I enjoyed some activities, no one knew how to deal with a kid with type 1 diabetes and as a result singled me out, a lot. So much so that it turned what should have been a fun time into a really bad time. The next year I asked to go to overnight camp which I'm sure made my parents nervous. How could I do that without knowing how to do my own shots? Luckily for all of us, they found diabetes camp, Camp Nejeda. That summer was a turning point for the whole family. For the first time in my life I felt like everyone else. If my diabetes was off, it was dealt with without drama, and life went back to normal. It is at Camp Nejeda that I learned how to give myself my own shot (woohhoo!), learned how to deal with the psychosocial aspects of living with diabetes, made lifelong friends, and what I call my diabetes self. Being comfortable in my own diabetes skin. In 2015 I convinced Camp to host an adult with T1D weekend, explaining that more local support is needed for adults. And we tried mimic what we all loved about diabetes camp (sharing, education, camaraderie) as kids, for adults? They trusted me, took a risk, and the program has grown from 20 attendees that the first year, to 100 this past June. Camp Nejeda is a very small foundation. They don't have large sponsors or grants to help them do what they do. They depend on donations from people like you, and me. They try hard not to turn any camper (adult or child) away due to financial constraints. In fact, ALL campers receive a discount on attending camp. So here's my ask. Would you consider making a donation to help me reach my fundraising goal of $1,500 in the next month? I know there are so many worthwhile organizations needing funds - but trust me when I saw the money you donate today, will help a child (and adult) in need in 2019.

Fundraising page:

With Gratitude, Phyllis

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