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Happy Camper

Roche has teamed up with the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana (DYFI) for many years to run summer camps for children living with diabetes. A very rewarding partnership for all parties involved.

An American child goes to summer camp. This may sound like the most natural thing in the world since camps are as much a part of growing up in the US as playing soccer and riding to school on one of the yellow buses. However, it is a whole different story when it comes to children and teens living with diabetes because the chronic condition does not take a break and definitely does not take vacation plans into consideration.

Attending a summer camp, therefore, remains a dream for many children and teenagers living with diabetes. One solution is a camp like the one offered by the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana, explicitly tailored to their needs. Jenna White, Executive Director of the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana: “Our camps make children feel like just being a kid, enjoying the free time and activities as everyone else does! Our camps allow the opportunity to feel normal while surrounded by others who understand what life with this disease entails. Medical staff, including doctors and nurses, look over them while a highly motivated team of counselors puts together an exciting program filled with fun and educational activities.”

 

DYFI camp is geared towards children ages 7 to 15 from all over Indiana and the surrounding states. Camp Until a Cure helps campers to grow in the management of their diabetes and independence. Walking on a zip line for the very first time or tackling the high rock-climbing course builds confidence and encourages them to learn. It is the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana’s policy that every child has the opportunity to attend camp regardless of their ability to pay. DYFI provides “camperships” to all families in need. Camperships are awarded based on a first come first serve basis and the needs of the family.

Roche has been supporting the DYFI Camp for more than ten years by providing blood glucose meters, test strips and lancing devices as well as financial support, and last but not least, volunteer work from employees. Matt Jewett, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Roche Diabetes Care says: “At Roche, we believe in the importance of supporting the communities where we live and work. DYFI Camp Until a Cure offers opportunities for hundreds of children to learn more about their diabetes and allows them to grow more confident in how they handle their daily challenges. Improving access to care so that all people with diabetes can afford and receive the support they need to control their disease has been a longstanding commitment at Roche Diabetes Care. Access is only meaningful if it’s equitable.”

Over thirty volunteers from Roche came in and helped to get the place camper-ready in 2021. Volunteers spent time weeding the campsite, cleaning the dining hall and camper cabins, painted, pool maintenance, and installed 12 air conditioning units to keep campers comfortable during their time at camp. Together with detailed planning and stringent hygienic concept, the countless volunteer hours helped to make the place safe and camp a great success.

For Matt Jewett and all the other Roche volunteers, seeing “our” products in action is very inspiring and a source of motivation for their daily work: “When you see those kids you understand the magnitude of what we are doing and that we are making a difference in the lives of kids with diabetes. It really is a game-changer.”

Looking ahead to 2022 camp, Matt adds: “We are excited to return to DYFI to host Roche game night! Roche volunteers will show up with their team every Thursday night during the month of June, organize and run games and meet the kids. There is nothing better than sitting around a campfire with everyone singing songs together.”

If you would like to donate to help a camper attend DYFI or volunteer your time, contact Jenna White at dyfjenna@gmail.com or 317-750-9310!

Roche Diabetes Care is committed to helping children around the world manage their diabetes better with our partners through the Changing Diabetes in Children program. Click HERE for more information.

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