Donors who would like to explore ways to continue this community service should contact Children’s Hospital Development Office at 865-541-8441.
Let me give you a bit of background information, so you can see why this summer camp is worth the donations.
My name is Natalie Miller, I'm sixteen and I've been Type 1 Diabetic for thirteen years this coming December. I was diagnosed at the age of 4, and I attended Camp Cure from the time I was five until age 12 (because that's the age limit for campers! Of course, you can become a junior staff member once you turn 13). Camp Cure was one of the only places where I felt like I fit in. The thing was—and still is—that no one understood me unless they had diabetes as well, which in Powell, is seldom and far between. Everyone understood me there, and knew the pain of having to poke my finger 4-5 times a day, take shots every time I ate and having to count carbs and measure out my food. They understand what it's like to wake up with a low blood sugar and having to muster up the energy to get up and check your blood glucose, or it being a high BG with uncontrolled thirst, urination and headaches. To say that Camp Cure was a big impact on me is an understatement; they took part in molding me into who I am today.
With that being said, we staff members always want to create a good environment for these children and to have fun and show that no disease would slow us down! These kids look up to us, and think "Wow! You can be a teenager with diabetes!" (Yes, they really say that!! Also, our staff are mainly diabetics, trained professionals... we have a team of nurses!) and they look up to us as role models, and trust that we will take great care of them and have lots of fun with them as well. At Camp Cure, we see a lot of firsts: A first finger stick, or a first insulin shot or changing a pump site, and we make a big deal about it as well, as it's such a milestone! Needles and hospital rooms and doctors are intimidating, even for me, and especially for these kids. It's such an honor to be able to witness their face once they realized that they've done something so significant on their own.
This camp is so important to me, and lots of other people and kids. Don't let this year be any different from the last. We want to see new smiling faces, and we want to make an impact on these camper's lives. I know how much of a difference they made for me, and I want all of the T1D kids to know that they aren't alone in what they're going through, and we always welcome them with open arms.
Be sure to contact East Tennessee Children's Hospital for more information on how you can get involved with Camp Cure, and how you can chip in to help. Thank you!"