Fundraiser will make a difference for children with diabetes
A fundraiser which helps send Southwest kids to Diabetes Camp was formally kicked off at the Swift Current Pharmasave this past Thursday.
Pharmasave’s Blue Circle Campaign runs for the entire month of November, and the fundraising initiative was ceremonially launched by Swift Current Mayor Denis Perrault buying the first Blue Circle. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, so Pharmasave is selling $2 Blue Circles until November 30 in support of an initiative to send youngsters to Saskatchewan Children’s Camp operated by Diabetes Canada.
“Every $2 counts. Every single donation adds up, and pretty soon you have a whole bunch of money that’s available to send a whole bunch of kids to camp,” explained Jahnaya Mann, store operator at the Swift Current Pharmasave.
She noted they are aiming to sell $6,000 worth of Blue Circles and surpass the total raised by another prairie Pharmasave location last year.
Diabetes Canada points out their actual cost per camper for a week at D-camp is $3,000, so subsidies and fundraisers play a big role in helping send kids to camp.
“It’s very cost prohibitive for people that already have a lot of costs in their life just to handle and manage the disease. So it’s one way that we can just bring a little bit of extra joy and help them experience the things that they should get to experience as children,” Mann added.
Swift Current’s Jonas Schultz, who has attended Saskatchewan’s Diabetes Camp at Christopher Lake north of Prince Albert for the past two summers, attended the kick off event with his mother Cindy Schultz to share the importance of the camp.
“It was an opportunity for him to be able to be just like every other kid,” Cindy Schultz said.
“Because every child there has type 1 diabetes, and most of the councillors do as well, it really gives them the community that they need because there’s little stations that they have at everything that they do that has low treatments and has monitors for them to be able to check.”
Jonas was six-year-old when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and his four and a half year journey with diabetes has been a constant effort of carb counting, watching what he eats, blood testing and insulin doses.
She pointed out that it is often concerning for parents to send their children on outings because of the attention needed to monitor their blood sugars.
“It can be terrifying when you first send your kid somewhere because you don’t know if he’s going to be safe there,” she said. “During the night, during the day, we have to be constantly vigilant.”
Jonas said he enjoyed meeting children who also have diabetes.
“I have one (friend) here who lives in Swift Current who I just met this year. He was in my cabin, and we were probably the silliest ones.”
“It’s pretty much like a normal camp, but they just have little stations set up around the camp. Like during big games that we play, there’ll be little stations set up with juice boxes, rockets and testing kits.”
Mayor Perrault, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on June 1, 1995, at the age of 17, said there is never a day off for a diabetic.
“Since that time, its 8,517 days without a day off as far as testing…and about 60,000 test strips and about tens of thousands of needles.”
Individuals wishing to support the Blue Circle Campaign can make a donation at Swift Current’s Pharmasave. People can also support Diabetes Canada during Diabetes Awareness Month by making a donation at 1-800-BANTING (226-8464) or online at diabetes. ca/donate.
Swift Current Mayor Denis Perrault helped kick off the Blue Circle Campaign at the Swift Current Pharmasave location on November 1. Assisting with the campaign launch event were Leah Perrault, Jonas Schultz, Cindy Schultz, Jahnaya Mann and Shar Nickol.