Benefits of attending ADA camps increase for children with type 1 diabetes, survey suggests
Data for the study was compiled from surveys done over a three-year period. Caregivers indicated that when the children for whom they cared attended ADA camps, they came home with more knowledge about their diseases as well as increased self-confidence, diabetes management skills and emotional improvement.
To help more children living with diabetes attend these camps, which are staffed by trained volunteers and medical professionals, Lilly Diabetes offers a Campership program to provide scholarships. To date, the organization has kicked in $716,000. This summer, Lilly donated $93,000 for these scholarships.
"The survey results show what we have known all along: our camps can have a positive impact on the children with type 1 diabetes who attend them," Dr. Jane Chiang, senior vice president for medical and community affairs for the American Diabetes Association, said. "For many families, association camps may be the first time a child with diabetes has been away from home. We are grateful to Lilly Diabetes and others for providing the opportunity for campers to learn how to manage their diabetes, build their self-esteem and gain independence."
Camps are available all across the U.S.; last summer, nearly 6,000 attended the 58 sessions offered. Fourteen-year-old Kristen attended Camp Korelitz in Cincinnati, Ohio.
"Kristen feels like she is not alone in the battle," Jessica, her mother, said. "Diabetes camp benefited not only her, but our entire family. Diabetes is a family disease, and we are all affected. Kristen's week away at camp helped me get comfortable letting other people take care of her diabetes."
Dr. David Kendall, vice president of medical affairs for Lilly Diabetes, said supporting ADA's camps is a source of pride for Lilly.
"For more than a decade, many individuals have reported positive experiences and shared how important the camp experience is for children with diabetes as they learn to care for themselves," he said. "These exciting survey results help confirm that campers are having a positive experience. We couldn't be happier that our donations to the association's Campership program are having such an impact."
For more information on ADA camps, visit www.diabetes.org/camp.