Summer camp helps to expand knowledge and promotes wellbeing among children

Feb 4, 2016: A three-year survey by the American Diabetes Association (Association) shows attending summer camp can do much more than lift the spirits of children with type 1 diabetes. Surveys conducted with caregivers before and after their child attended an Association camp found the experience can increase some children’s diabetes knowledge, self-confidence, diabetes management and emotional well-being while enjoying traditional camp activities.

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To help more children with diabetes experience these positive outcomes, Lilly Diabetes has once again made a commitment to the Association’s “Campership” program. The company today announced a donation of $93,000 for camp scholarships ? $1,000 for each year Lilly has helped those living with diabetes since introducing the world’s first commercial insulin in 1923. Since 2008, Lilly Diabetes has donated $716,000 to the Campership program, which awards scholarships based on financial need. The donations have helped hundreds of children with diabetes attend special summer camps supported by staff and medical professionals who oversee and assist campers with daily diabetes care.

According to the survey, the number of campers with a clear understanding of diabetes management increased by 11 percent after attending an Association camp, and the number of campers with the ability to manage diabetes-related problems independently increased by 10 percent. Newly diagnosed campers, i.e., less than one year since initial diagnosis, showed the greatest change, with 19 percent of those campers showing improvement in ability to manage diabetes-related issues. In addition, the survey showed Association camps increased some campers’ confidence and lowered their diabetes-related stress.

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“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,” said Jane Chiang, MD, senior vice president, medical and community affairs, at the American Diabetes Association. “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.”

Attending Camp Korelitz in Cincinnati, Ohio, has helped 14-year-old Kristen learn to manage her diabetes. “Kristen feels like she is not alone in the battle,” says her mother, Jessica. “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.”

The American Diabetes Association is the world’s largest provider of camps for children with diabetes, with 58 sessions of camp serving nearly 6,000 campers in 2015. In the past decade, Lilly Diabetes has donated $31 million in insulin and other diabetes medicines, educational materials and $716,000 in scholarships and has also provided over 100 special guest speaker appearances.

“We at Lilly Diabetes take great pride in our support of diabetes camps. 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,” said David Kendall, MD, vice president of medical affairs, Lilly Diabetes. “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.”

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