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Living With Diabetes Made Easier for Camp Kids

January 24, 2016

Living With Diabetes Made Easier for Camp Kids

Pouring rain didn’t stop the twenty children attending the summer Diabetes camp from enjoying a brisk walk to visit the Northland Rescue Helicopter last week.

Each year Northland DHB hosts a summer camp for young people who have diabetes at the Manaia Baptist Campground.

The visit from the Northland Rescue Helicopter was a special treat for the children and they were given a chance to climb inside the helicopter and learn more about the service it provides.

This year’s January summer camp was designed to help young people develop relationships with those facing a similar health journey, improve social skills, promote confidence and a feeling of being in control.

Louise Kini, coordinator of the Child Health Centre Healthy Lifestyle Programme and Eve de Goey, Diabetes specialist nurse said the camp – which also receives fundraising from the annual Diabetes Fun Run Walk held in November - is a great opportunity for kids to “feel the same as everyone else” and for their parents to be able to relax for a few days without the constant worry of their child’s diabetes.

“At the camp the children learn to do things they don’t normally do, including diabetes education around changing where they inject on their body, and learning to inject for the first time by themselves,” said Eve.

Aaliyah Nordstrand said she was diagnosed with diabetes in 2016 at age 15 and Eve invited her to the camp to meet others living with diabetes.

“Eve asked if I would come and be a role model so younger children can see that it is ok,” Aaliyah said.

“It has been fun, I have enjoyed it a lot, it is such a good idea to be with others who live with the same condition, learn how to deal with diabetes better.”

This year there were lots of new young campers, some with food allergies and one child with celiac so Mary McNab (Paediatric dietitian and camp chef) made some changes to the menu to make sure it was fit for everyone.

“The children have been really great this year, making new friends, working together and generally having fun,” Lou said with a smile.

The annual Diabetes Fun Run Walk held in November helps raise funds for Northland Diabetes Youth. This money is used to fund this annual children’s camp and the camp for the older youth later in the year.

“I did the fun run last year, so thanks to everyone for their help and making the camps happen and a big thank you for the Northland Rescue Helicopter crew who took time out to share their work with us, it was a major highlight for us all,” Aaliyah said.



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