I want to let you know as a parent how I feel about diabetes camp and what’s it’s like taking care of a child with type 1 diabetes.
My daughter was 17 months old when she was diagnosed with this terrible disease. She was an innocent little girl who was very thin, crabby, drinking a lot, and, urinating a lot. I took her in to get her checked after seeing a commercial on TV about diabetes (I swear I had a guardian angel by my side), and the bad news came that she was a type 1 diabetic. How does one learn to help a little fragile girl with a disease that will change her life forever? Shots every day and carbohydrate counting continuously, oh boy, I didn’t think I could do this. I had to learn and do the best I could to keep her alive and prayed I could keep her heart beating, and the more I found out about diabetes, it made it harder for me to accept it and wonder if I could do it.
My daughter Mikala is now 15 1/2 and doing good. She has her ups and downs as diabetes and always will! There is NEVER keeping diabetes at a perfect number! We deal with high blood sugars, low blood sugars, good blood sugars, yikes! it’s a very hard disease to control!
I found out about diabetes camp at Camp Needlepoint. I was told how good this camp was with helping kids dealing with diabetes and how it helps the kids be themselves and be with other kids just like them.
I have to say as a parent, sending her to camp is the best thing I’ve ever done! Since Mikala was 9 years old, she’s been attending Camp Needlepoint and she absolutely loves it! She is going again this year because of her love for camp. Mikala has met so many new friends that she, to this day, still keeps in touch with. The staff is marvelous! Between counselors and doctors, they all deserve an A+++!
Mikala wants to now become a camp counselor herself in a couple years. She is always happy going to camp and meeting new people. I have to say, when I go to pick her up, she actually gets sad, she has so much fun she doesn’t want to come home.
There is funding that is donated from the Lions Club and Lioness’s along with others (You would have to ask about) that donate to help send kids to camp if they apply for financial aid. My daughter has been helped with this and I can’t thank enough all the people who donate to these camps! It’s been a blessing having such great people that care about a disease so much that they give much of their time so our kids can go and experience what I believe is something they will never forget for the rest of their lives. Being with so many others just like you, helps take away the “feel sorry for me” stress each of these kids go through every day.
At camp, kids also learn how to take care of themselves better. If there is anything you want your child to learn about their diabetes, they help them out. You would be surprised what they learn in one week at camp!
So, please know the people behind the scenes that work so hard to help kids with a disease that won’t end without a cure, care deeply about our kids and want to see them do well with themselves in life as well as see they can have fun and do whatever they want to do. I tell my daughter when she gets down, don’t let diabetes defeat you, defeat the diabetes! It can happen!
– Melanie and Mikala Pronschinske