CDBC Camper 3 years; Staff 6 years
What is your favorite camp memory?
Each and every year brings a whole new set of memories that I hold close. My very first memory was actually before camp even started. I was laying in my hospital bed just a day after I was diagnosed and past camper, Luke Kopecky, paid me a visit where he told me that I had to go to this awesome diabetes basketball camp with him. Another camp memory that always sticks out in my mind is my first day at camp. In addition to
diabetes, I also was
recently diagnosed with Celiac disease and had not got a firm grasp on the new diet. I had gone to a
few other basketball camps earlier in the summer where I had very limited food choices and was worried CDBC would be the same. Boy was I wrong, Gayle quickly greeted me, let me
know I would be eating meals just like the other campers and she absolutely held up her end o
f the bargain. #teamwheatless
Did you learn anything at camp to improve your diabetes care?
Camp is, really, where I learned how to manage my diabetes while play
ing sports. A week after I was diagnosed I started my first season of high school basketball where, looking back, I really had no clue what I was doing in terms of managing my diabetes while being active. After attending camp everything seemed to click and I remember sitting in the back of my mom's car and knowing that I could take on any challenge diabetes decided to thr
ow at me.
Do you stay in contact with anyone you met while attending camp?
I have stayed in close contact with many people from CDBC. I am fortunate enough to
three individuals my very best friends. I also love and cherish the texts and quick visits I get f
rom many other people in the CDBC family. Just this past summer I was down in San Diego and Jenna heard we were both in similar areas and so she drove all the way to the beach just to see me for half an hour before my flight took off. I also got to play in the same slow pitch league as Tatjana this summer and fall. Through my years at Pacific, Gibby joined the men's basketball staff so I got to see him on a regular basis. Social media has been my main mode of communication weather it's keeping up on Facebook or the
occasional Snapchat I love
staying connected with people all year long.
Do you have any advice for present or future campers?
My biggest piece of advice is to cherish the relationships with the people you meet at camp.
Camp has allowed me to see diabetes as a blessing, rather than a bur
den, due to each of the individuals I have gotten to know over the years.
Whatever method you choose to communicate with others, make sure you do, you never know when you will completely change someone's day and give them the encouragement they need to keep fighting on.
Tell us about yourself since your camper days
Since my camper days I went on to attend Pacific University where I was able to play four
years of college softball and get my Bachelor of Science in Public Health. After graduating I
started working for Providence where I am in my third role with them, now at Providence St Vincent in their Neurology department. I am also in my second, and final, year of my master's program with Pacific University. Next August, the Saturday after camp, I will be walking across the stage and receiving my diploma for my Masters in Healthcare Administration. Upon graduation I plan to get my Diabetes Education Certificate and continue my career helping children with Type 1 diabetes.