Aaron’s fun camp

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Emma Ballingall

Achiev­ing a sense of nor­mal­ity dur­ing a fun-filled di­a­betes camp has raised the spir­its of 10-year-old Aaron De Vent of War­ragul.

Aaron never gets a break from his type one di­a­betes. He checks his blood glu­cose about four times a day but does not let this stop him en­joy­ing bike rid­ing, see­ing friends and play­ing video games.

He re­cently re­turned in high spir­its from Di­a­betes Vic­to­ria’s di­a­betes camp at the YMCA An­gle­sea, where di­a­betes was the norm and not a point of dif­fer­ence.

Aaron was di­ag­nosed with type one di­a­betes in April 2012.

“This was the scari­est mo­ment in my life,” said his mum Krys­tal Gor­don. “Aaron be­came so sick so quickly, and I was afraid I was go­ing to lose my lit­tle boy. I knew very lit­tle about di­a­betes and was ini­tially very over­whelmed with all that I had to learn.

“Aaron’s di­ag­no­sis changed our ev­ery­day life in a big way, as we now have to en­sure his diet is care­fully planned out for the whole day to suit his in­sulin dosages. Aaron is man­ag­ing well and liv­ing life to the fullest with just a lit­tle ex­tra plan­ning and ad­just­ments.”

Al­though the preva­lence of type one di­a­betes is grow­ing world­wide, it is still un­com­mon for chil­dren in Vic­to­ria to know other chil­dren with di­a­betes. That’s where Di­a­betes Vic­to­ria helps with its camps pro­gram.

Aaron spent five days with 50 peers at YMCA An­gle­sea over the school hol­i­days. He en­joyed be­ing part of a group where liv­ing with type one di­a­betes was “noth­ing spe­cial”, giv­ing him a sense of nor­mal­ity when deal­ing with the chronic con­di­tion.

“I was very ex­cited for Aaron to go to camp and meet other chil­dren his age who are go­ing through what he is go­ing through,” said Ms Gor­don. “He loved be­ing in an en­vi­ron­ment where di­a­betes comes sec­ond and hav­ing fun is the pri­or­ity.”

At camp, chil­dren are fully su­per­vised by a team of di­a­betes nurse ed­u­ca­tors, di­eti­tians and an on­site doc­tor. A range of ac­tiv­i­ties keeps the young peo­ple oc­cu­pied in­clud­ing surf­ing lessons, ca­noe­ing, fish­ing, in­door climb­ing, vis­it­ing the Gee­long Ad­ven­ture Park, play­ing on a gi­ant swing, as well as beach games and a Hal­loween-themed disco.

Di­a­betes Vic­to­ria or­gan­ises six di­a­betes camps ev­ery year in part­ner­ship with the Royal Chil­dren’s and Monash Chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals, with fund­ing sup­port from the Na­tional Di­a­betes Ser­vices Scheme. De­mand for camp places is al­ways high, so some chil­dren have to wait or at­tend day ac­tiv­i­ties in­stead.

“Around 2650 Vic­to­rian school aged chil­dren live with type one di­a­betes, one of the most com­mon chronic child­hood con­di­tions, and this num­ber is steadily grow­ing for yet un­known rea­sons,” said Di­a­betes Vic­to­ria CEO Craig Ben­nett. “There is no cure for type one di­a­betes, and it can­not be pre­vented – un­like type two di­a­betes, which is of­ten linked to life­style is­sues.”

Type one di­a­betes can oc­cur at any age, al­though most cases de­velop amongst chil­dren, teenagers and young adults.

To help grow the camp­ing pro­gram, con­sider mak­ing a tax-de­ductible do­na­tion at di­a­betesvic.org.au.

Aaron De Vent of War­ragul was a happy cam­per dur­ing the five-day Di­a­betes Vic­to­ria camp in An­gle­sea. The 10-year-old loved be­ing in an en­vi­ron­ment where liv­ing with type one di­a­betes was “noth­ing spe­cial” and hav­ing fun was the pri­or­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.