Children attend diabetes camp

Diabetic children from Cayman are attending diabetes summer camps in the United States this summer. 

Sponsored by the Cayman Islands Diabetes Charitable Trust, Cayman Airways and the Aall Foundation, two children are at camps at the Barton Centre for Diabetes Education in North Oxford, Massachusetts. 

The camps are open to children and teens with type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes. 

This week, 10-year-old Ariella Jackson of West Bay is attending the girls-only Clara Barton Camp and Jason Rankin, aged 15, from Prospect is at the boys-only Camp Joslin at the diabetes centre. 

While at the camp, the children are encouraged to practise sports daily and they attend educational and psychological workshops about managing diabetes and coping with self care in a fun and entertaining atmosphere.  

“Named after Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, the Barton Centre is highly sought after for their leadership in residential programming and abilities to care for and train young children to lead healthy lives”, said Christina Rowlandson, chairperson of Cayman Diabetes Trust’s advisory committee.  

“Our camp fees or camperships are also being co-sponsored by the Barton Centre’s United States-based donors such as the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust,” said Ms Rowlandson. 

The Trust is also sponsoring a young adult, 20-year-old Estee Ebanks, to attend the “D-Treat” programme at the weekend, from 17-19 August, which will take place at the University of Chicago.  

“D-Treat caters to individuals between 18-25 years of age who face a slew of new challenges when they leave home for college and have to navigate different healthcare systems while juggling the financial and social demands of student life,” said Debra Humphreys, who represents the Trust’s trustee contributions.  

Topics that will be covered at D-Treat include diabetes and active living, diabetes advocacy, financial issues surrounding diabetes, health insurance, navigating health care, exercise and nutrition, time management with diabetes, stress management and relationships, partying and other risky business, diabetes advocacy, the history of diabetes, and how to handle your parents’ fears. 

All three students from Cayman have previously attended programmes at the Barton Centre. Mr. Ebanks participated in the centre’s Adventure/Wilderness Leadership Camp but is no longer eligible for the camps due to his age. Ariella attended the Barton Centre’s Day Camp before, during summer of 2010, and Jason attended the centre’s snowboard and ski camp in Vermont in February 2011. 

Camps have become one of the mainstays of the Cayman Diabetes Trust’s childhood and young adult activity programmes and this year, funds raised through the Cayman Islands International Fishing Tournament in May and the Stand Up Paddle Association last year helped sponsor the programmes. 

“It is because of generous donations and community events such as these, that the Cayman Diabetes Trust is able to enrich the lives of local children and youth at-risk”, said treasurer of the Cayman Islands Charitable Trust, Baron Jacob. 

In type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes, the pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables the body to use sugar found in foods for energy. Instead of the body converting that sugar, or glucose, into energy, it backs up in the blood stream and causes a variety of symptoms, including fatigue. 

Type 1 diabetes is different from type 2 diabetes because it is treatable only with insulin, delivered either via multiple syringe injections or through an insulin pump. Many of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes, however, are also those of type 2. Your doctor will perform a test to determine your pancreatic function and confirm a diagnosis. 

US diabetes camp

The girls at the Clara Barton Camp. – PHOTO: SUBMITTED

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