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Diabetes camp a treat for children
Diabetes camp vital for kids to connect with others like them

Date published: 4/14/2009

JULIA WEAVER is the only child at Winding Creek Elementary School with diabetes. That's why the Kids for a Cure Club Camp is so important to her. At the camp, for children with Type 1 diabetes, the 10-year-old gets to be with other children who go through what she goes through every day.

This year will mark the third year for the camp, sponsored by Mary Washington Hospital, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and the Fredericksburg Lions Club.

The camp is one of five similar camps in Virginia and the only one in this immediate area. It will be held June 22-25, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., at the Presbyterian Church in Fredericksburg on Princess Anne Street.

Julia's mother, Cathy Weaver, said that when Julia was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 2, she discovered the Kids for a Cure Club, a nonprofit support group for children with diabetes.

When the club started a summer camp three years ago, she and Julia were thrilled.

"It was a huge deal for us," she said. " Kids with diabetes can't really go to camp unless there is someone there who can meet their medical needs."

Lana King, diabetes educator at Mary Washington Hospital and founder and director of the camp, said it's designed to let kids do the usual camp activities and also learn more about managing their disease. Plus, the children are in a safe environment with nurses and dietitians.

Children with Type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin. As a result, they have to add insulin to their bodies around the clock and keep a close watch on their blood sugar levels. They also have to be very careful about their food intake.

"A lot of kids don't even spend the night with other children because the parents [of the other children] don't know how to give them insulin," King said.

This year's theme is Around the World 2009. King said the children will focus on a different country each day, incorporating crafts and food. Speakers will talk about diabetes topics.

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