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ADA Summer Camps Help Children Manage Life with Diabetes, Caregivers Affirm

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ADA Summer Camps Help Children Manage Life with Diabetes, Caregivers Affirm
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The American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) summer camps have a positive impact on children’s self-confidence and diabetes management abilities, the ADA reported, based on a three-year association survey of the children’s caregivers before and after attending a camp.

Lilly Diabetes recently made a $93,000 donation to support camp scholarships, recognizing the value of these camps in increasing children’s diabetes knowledge. The ADA’s “Campership” program awards scholarships to children whose ability to attend a camp is limited by financial need. Lilly Diabetes has supported the “Campership” program since 2008, providing a total of $31 million in insulin and other diabetes medicines, educational materials, and a total $716,000 in scholarships.

“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. 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,” David Kendall, vice president of medical affairs at Lilly Diabetes, said in a press release.

Survey results showed that, among camp participants, the understanding of diabetes management had improved by 11 percent. Children taking part in a summer camp session also showed a 10 percent increase in the ability to manage diabetes-related problems independently. But the greatest benefit was realized by campers newly diagnosed (less than one year) with diabetes — their caregivers reported a 19 percent improvement in their ability to manage diabetes related-problems, the ADA survey showed.

Jane Chiang, senior vice president, medical and community affairs at the ADA, said the results reinforced the association’s conviction that summer camp attendance benefits those with type 1 diabetes. “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,” she said.

ADA camps are supported by specialized medical staff who guide children with their daily diabetes care. The association in 2015 alone worked with nearly 6,000 campers attending 58 camp sessions.

For more information about the ADA’s diabetes camp program and camp scholarships, please visit this link.

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