Diabetes Caucus Members Rep. Mike Tryon and Senator Pamela Althoff Visit Kids Diabetes Camp

Ingleside, IL…..State Representative Michael W. Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) and Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) took a tour this month of a special camp which blends good old fashioned summer fun with diabetes education and support for kids suffering from diabetes.

On August 2, Tryon and Althoff, who are both members of the Illinois General Assembly Diabetes Caucus, visited the Triangle D Camp at the YMCA’s Camp Duncan in Ingleside, and while visiting they got a firsthand look at how area preteens are learning to better understand and manage their diabetes. “I really enjoyed visiting this camp,” said Tryon. “It’s clear that Camp Duncan provides a great environment where kids can learn from other kids and see that they are not alone with their diabetes struggles.”

According to Sue Apsey, Program Director for the Chicago Office of the American Diabetes Association, the six-day overnight camp brought 138 Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana kids between the ages of 9-13 together for the program which challenges each child to reach their potential both mentally and physically. “We provide an opportunity for kids to feel just like everyone else,” Apsey said. “They enjoy swimming, rope climbing, campfires and other traditional summer camp activities, but the common denominator among them is diabetes.”

Campers come to the Triangle D Camp with varying levels of ability to self-manage their symptoms, and Apsey said activities are planned for the interest and skill level of each child. “Overall program goals include improved self-esteem, taking responsibility for diabetes management and social adjustment in a setting away from home,” she said.

Tryon, who was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2006, said he was pleased to see kids taking charge of the management of their symptoms. “For some of these kids this was probably the first time they were in a setting where their parents were not completely in charge of the diabetes management, “ he said. “Physicians, nurses and dietitians were truly helping to create self-care independence for these children.”