Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Read the rest of my blogpost at DiabeticLifestyle.com here…
Read the rest of my blogpost at DiabeticLifestyle.com here…
I’m beyond thrilled to announce that my non-profit, “dateline diabetes” has officially been given 501(c)3 status by the IRS!!! That means when someone makes a donation to my charity it will be tax deductible for you.
A portion of the profits from my upcoming book release, “If I Kiss you will I get Diabetes?” will directly go into my non-profit.
Here’s a little more information about dateline diabetes…
When I was diagnosed at the age of 13 I desperately needed to talk to someone who had already had diabetes for a couple of years. In the doctor’s office I couldn’t see pass that day, I needed someone to help me have hope with my future goals and dreams. I created “dateline diabetes” because I saw a need out there and I wanted to help do what I can to help fill that. My inspiration for calling the nonprofit “dateline diabetes” is because dateline is defined as “a line giving the place of origin and usually the date of a news dispatch or the like.” The work that I do comes from my own personal story with having a chronic illness for the past 13 years and I want others to feel empowered to tell their story of origin.
Dateline diabetes serves two specific purposes. First, we provide Baskets of Hope to recently diagnosed diabetics. It will include items such as diabetes educational material, a journal, markers, and information on how to get set-up with a mentor. As well, the parents of the diagnosed will have an opportunity to get set-up with another parent who has a child with diabetes. Second, dateline diabetes provides diabetes camp scholarships to people living with type-1 diabetes who cannot afford to attend.
I’m currently working with a new web developer to redo my entire website so starting this summer (hopefully June 1st) people will be able to go on to the site and 1. Fill out a form requesting a Basket of Hope. 2. Apply for a camp scholarship to be paid directly to the American Diabetes Association camp of their choice (criteria will be based on personal passion for life as well as if they’ re in financial need). 3. Make a donation to the charity.
The lessons that I learned at the age of 13 at Camp Needlepoint I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I realized that I didn’t get a choice in getting diagnosed with type-1 diabetes, but I certainly got the choice on how I was going to react. I hope that you will join me in helping support “dateline diabetes”.
I had only had diabetes for two months when my parents forced the idea on me to go to diabetes camp. My Mom, who I considered a strict parent, approached me to talk about going. Though she was broaching a topic, as my father always says, “What Mama wants, Mama gets.” I remember her going on and on about how she thought this was going to help me better cope with having diabetes. I told her I wasn’t interested in listening to her ideas. Besides, I had two beach parties planned that last week of August that I cared more about then going to a place that she told me was called Camp Needlepoint. Camp Needlepoint? Though I love my mother dearly, I thought she had lost her mind. The last place that I wanted to spend a week of my summer vacation was at a place where I wore a Camp Needlepoint t-shirt and had to sit in long educational sessions about what diabetes is, how I should be treated, and the serious complications that I would get if I didn’t listen.
My Mom was the Mom that would constantly remind my brothers and I that her job wasn’t to be our friend, but to be our mother. She trumped my opinion on camp and brought my Aunt Roxane for reinforcement. They packed my bags as we departed Baxter, MN for the long 4-hour drive to Hudson, WI where they dropped me off for my week at camp. I had never even met another person living with diabetes, except for my little brother. I didn’t want to be the sick kid or the kid that everyone threw sympathy votes at. I made my Mom promise me that she would pick me up at the earliest time possible on the last day of camp. I sulked off to my bunk bed in the platform tent and just cried. This was not the life that I had thought for myself.
A young girl, around my age, walked into the tent and crawled up on my bed.
“Hi, my name is Nicole and I’m from Babbitt, MN. Where are you from?”
I choked up my tears and said, “the Brainerd Lakes area.”
“Cool. I come to camp every year and just love it. We’re going to be the best of friends.”
Nicole seemed so normal. Her blonde, bouncy curls followed her as she went to set up her bunk. She seemed nice, pretty, and the girl at school who all the guys would want to date. But wait, she has diabetes, just like me? She seemed so happy and didn’t even ask me about my diabetes when we met. Another girl was sitting on the bottom bunk eating Starbursts. I looked again, and yes she was eating candy. I remember back to when Brittney shoved the piece of cake in my face on the day I was diagnosed and announced to my friends that I couldn’t have sugar anymore. I said to Breanna who was eating the candy, “Aren’t you going to get in trouble for eating sugar?”
Breanna looked up at me and said, “Just because you have diabetes it doesn’t mean you don’t eat candy.”
I will be forever changed by camp. There were kids as young as five and up to eighteen years old that had type-1 diabetes. For once in my young life I didn’t feel so alone. That week I didn’t learn how to live life with diabetes, but instead to live life despite having diabetes. The kids around me were going through the same daily struggles as me and they were living life to the fullest. I learned to rock climb, sail, be a better artist, and sharpen my acting skills in the Camp Finale Play. Nicole and I called each other twin sisters separated at birth. We even slept in the same bunk bed at night because we couldn’t be separated. She would tell me who her dia-
crush was at camp (guy with diabetes who we were crushing on that day) and then I would give my thoughts and then report on my own. When the last day of camp came around my Mom was there promptly at 10am. Her and Nicole’s mother had to practically pull us apart. That week Nicole taught me that I could still be me, even if I did have diabetes.
To find out more information about finding an American Diabetes Association Camp near you click here.