April 2018
The story behind the Chris Dudley Foundation

The Chris Dudley Foundation encourages people with diabetes to live active and dream big!  Where does this inspiration stem fro m?   Read on to learn more about our founder, Chris Dudley, and how he turned a devastating diagnosis into motivation to follow his greatest dreams.  We encourage you to share this with friends, family, and anyone else who ma y need some extra inspiration while facing the daily challenges of diabetes.

Chris was diagnose d with type 1 diabetes when he was 16 years old, just after his sophomore season of high school basketball.  One of the first questions he asked the doctor was "Can I still play basketball?" With the support of his family and an experienced  heal th care team, Chris was not only able to contin ue his high school basketball career, but to play four  years at Yale University, and on to compete at the highest level - the NBA.  In 1987, Chris joined
the Cleveland Cavaliers and became the first person in to play in the NBA with type 1 diabetes.   Today, he remains one of only t w o people with T1D to play for the NBA. Chris played 16 years in the league.   Chris worked hard to achieve his dream.   In a time when insulin pumps were a rarity and continuous glucose monitors were unheard of, he put in the extra work and management to allow him to play to his fullest ability.

Chris was recognized during his playing career receiving the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 1996 and the USA Today's most Caring Athlete Award in  1997.  Many fellow athletes, coaches 
and trainer s spoke of their admiration for Chris' perseverance and inspirational attitude towards life with T1D.   Houston  Rockets Head Coach, Jeff Van Gundy spoke of Chris saying, "Chris Dudley epitomizes everything an NBA player  should be.  He worked extremely hard. He shared his gift of being a pro basketball player with children in the community and did tremendous work with pediatric diabetes.  Chris always sacrificed for the good of the team.  In my time in the NBA, there is no better role model for children than Chris Dudley, who persevered over all odds to have an outstanding NBA career."

After working with many aspiring athletes with diabetes early in his professional basketball career, Chris wanted to do more to empower the diabetes community to follow their dreams, whatever they may be.  In 1994, the Chris Dudley Foundation was established and 1996 marked the first session of the Chris Dudley Basketball Camp, a basketball camp specifically designed to cater to the needs of athletes with type 1 diabetes.  Each summer, Chris joins 75 youth between the ages of 10-17 with T1D in Vernonia, OR where experienced coaches, counseling and medical staff guide campers in playing basketball and living active, while properly managing T1D.  Campers build supportive relationships with peers and staff who remain a support system long after the camp week comes to a close.   

The Chris Dudley Foundation (CDF) aims to educate, 
raise awareness, and provide outreach.   Currently, CDF works to  provide diabetes supplies to those living in poverty through the  Test Don't Guess outreach program; supplies educational  resources through www.chrisdudley.org and across all social media platforms; as well as works to raise awareness through the annual 5k/10k race, the Diabuddies Dash.

Today, Chris lives in sunny San Diego, with his wife of 21 years and 3 children, Charles, Emma, and Sam.  Chris continues to encourage children with T1D to follow their dream - whether it be in athletics, education, or something else - and to live active, full lives!  For more information about Chris Dudley and the Chris Dudley Foundation, visit www.chrisdudley.org.  Please consider sharing Chris' story with your friends and family by forwarding via the link below!

Diabetes can be isolating but today's modern technology helps connect us with other T1Ds, T2Ds, and families around the world! Check out some of the tips below to stay connected through media with local or international groups.
*To join these groups, you must have an active Facebook account.  These groups are not hosted or monitored by the Chris Dudley Foundation.  

Congratulations to former CDBC camper and staff member, Josh Dyk on officially becoming a Portland Police Officer.  We know that Josh has worked very hard for this day and we at the Chris Dudley Foundation could not be more proud of him for following his dreams!
2nd Annual Diabuddies Dash 

JOIN US in Keizer, OR for the 2nd Annual Diabuddies Dash on Saturday, April 28th!   All proceeds benefit Chris Dudley Basketball Camp camper scholarships.
Events include: 5k walk, 5k run, 10k run, vendor fair, and awards ceremony!
Here's how you can participate: 
  • Join us on April 28th in Keizer, OR - Register HERE.
  • Gather a GROUP to participate in the race and receive discounted pricing! 
  • VOLUNTEER at the Diabuddies Dash!
  • Have your business SPONSOR the Diabuddies Dash
  • Can't join us in Keizer, OR? Participate in the Virtual Diabuddies Da
    sh on your own time, in your home town! Visit www.chrisdudley.org 

  • JDRF Oregon/SW Washington Hope Gala: May 5, 2018.  More information here
  • 2nd Annual Diabuddies Dash: Registration is now OPEN! Register HERE!  Visit www.chrisdudley.org for race details.

Days Until CDBC 2018:

WATN showcases past Chris Dudley Basketball Camp campers, now
young adults with type 1 diabetes living active lives and following their dreams!  Want to participate in WATN?  We would love to hear from you at  gayle@chrisdudley.org .

CDBC camper 1 year; staff 4 years
What is your favorite camp memory?
Too many. I remember as a little 12 year old watching Big Mike complete some epic belly flops into the pool. I remember thinking back then (and still do) that Big Mike was the coolest human on earth. Taming the "Vernonia winds" while playing tips was, is, and forever will be a fun struggle. I've seen some of the best sunsets of my life from the top of the hill near the blood sugar station overlooking the coastal mountains. I've had some amazing times hanging out with my CDBC friends both before and after camp in Portland, the highlight of which was probably all of us painting up and having a good time at a Portland Timbers game.

Did you learn anything at camp to improve your diabetes care?
I think the most meaningful aspect of camp was meeting other type 1 diabetic athletes. Back home in Louisville, I hardly knew any type 1 diabetics growing up, let alone diabetics who shared my love for basketball. It's such a special feeling to form friendships with other diabetics with similar passions, and the bonds that form as a result are truly unique and strong. I remember sharing stories and advice between friends about how to improve my diabetes management, particularly with regards to playing basketball.  
Do you stay in contact with anyone you met while attending camp?
Of course! I love my CDBC people, and I feel like I've got an amazing CDBC network of friends across the country. Patrick Reilingh lives in Louisville, and we've met up several times at Louisville basketball games and have played basketball together. This past year alone I stayed with Garrett Jensen for a few incredible days in Portland where we met up with Joe "Sweetness" Edwards and went for a fun bike ride with Justin Schauer. I also hung out with Jake Roselli in Seattle and caught a Celtics game in Boston with Patrick Racy. I'm moving out to Denver this May and I encourage any CDBC peeps to contact me if they are visiting Colorado!  

Tell us about yourself since your camp days!
I completed my undergraduate studies at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. It's a small liberal arts school with around 1,400 students. I majored in Spanish, and probably the highlight at Centre was studying abroad in Spain for 5 months. I also played basketball for Centre all 4 years at the NCAA Division III level, and we made it to the NCAA tournament 3 out of my 4 years on the team. I'm currently in my fourth year of medical school at the University of Louisville and I graduate this spring, which I could not be more excited about! I recently found out that I'm heading to Denver this May to complete my residency training in pediatrics with the University of Colorado. I'm not sure what type of pediatrician I want to become, but it's very possible you'll see me back at the Chris Dudley Basketball Camp as a future camp doctor! Stay tuned.   

Do you have any advice for present or future campers?
Have fun at camp! Camp was always one of the highlights of my year and I've made so many great friends from my time in Oregon. Also, don't let diabetes keep you from pursuing and accomplishing your dreams. With a plan and support team you can truly do anything with diabetes! Don't hold back!

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www.chrisdudley.org - 503.830.0780