Summer time means camp time for many kids. Most of us know camp as an opportunity for sun, fun, and games. For children recently diagnosed or living with diabetes, the benefits of camp can be even greater, as their lives may have been turned upside down. Getting diagnosed with diabetes can prove overwhelming for children and their families, and they may feel alone and discouraged.
Diabetes camps specially designed to foster disease management can play a major role here. Lilly Diabetes has supported these camps, which offer children with diabetes insight into critical self-management skills in a communal setting and a safe, yet fun environment, for 15 years.
This summer, two of our Lilly Diabetes ambassadors, Kris Freeman and Ryan Reed, will once again take time out of their busy schedules to share their stories of perseverance with children at diabetes camps across the country as part of the Lilly Camp Care Package (LCCP) program.
Kris has competed in four winter Olympics in spite of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 19. Ryan, who won this year’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 17.
Both represent real-life role models who are not only managing and living with diabetes, but are excelling in their careers.
Our partnership with and sponsorship of two professional athletes with diabetes, NASCAR driver Ryan Reed and Olympic cross country skier Kris Freeman, helps drive home the message that a diabetes diagnosis shouldn’t stop you from dreaming big.
Meeting Kris and Ryan and relating to their stories can give campers an important boost. After a fun-filled time at camp, they will return home with a suitcase full of memories, and the confidence that that a diabetes diagnosis does not have to stand in the way of their dreams. Not surprisingly, the program’s theme makes clear: “Diabetes doesn’t go away at camp. It just doesn’t stand in the way!”
Kris and Ryan will be kicking off the 11th annual diabetes tour along with Lilly Diabetes on June 9. To learn more about Kris and Ryan’s stories, the 2015 Camp Tour Schedule or other ways Lilly Diabetes supports people affected by diabetes, visit lillydiabetes.com and diabetescamps.org.