Daniela Rojas & Dia Vida Association
Daniela Rojas is a psychologist who works with people living with chronic conditions and a type one diabetes advocate and blogger for Costa Rica and Latin América. In 2013 she became a board member of Día Vida Association (the first
and only patient organization here in Costa Rica). Día Vida looks on educating and accompany people living with
and their families, seeking to minimize the appearance
of complications both emotional and physical as well as empowering them to understand it is possible to have a healthy, happy long lasting life with diabetes. Hand in hand with Día Vida Association, Daniela became part of the founding and organization team for the first and only youth diabetes
camp here in Co
sta Rica in 2014. The Chris Dudley Foundation had the pleasure of talking to Daniela about her experience growing up with T1D in Costa Rica and working with others who are facing the same challenges. The work of Día Vida Association is inspiring to say the least!
Dia Vida Diabetes Youth Camp
The Día Vida Diabetes Youth Camp, works with approximately 75 campers between the ages of 10 to 17, we work with kids and teens from all around the country. The camp is 3 days long and we work with a staff that includes endocrinologists, nutritionists, psychologists, nurses and team leaders. Our camp looks, to educate, empower and accompany each participant in their personal process dealing with their
type one. We look to educate through sports, games,
and fun activities which will allow them to learn
respect their body instead of feeling fearful and will enable
develop a healthy relationship with their condition.
The Dia Vida Camp, has been a wonderful process for all of those involved in it, and part of our biggest successes is being able to see the improvement it has brought to lives of the campers. We have had kids that come in ashamed, sad and frustrated about living with type one, that have later grown into becoming assistants to the team leaders as they want to empower others the they were the first time they participated. Being able to witness how the peer to peer support, being part of a team and share their lives with others living with the condition helps them grow, accept their condition and feel comfortable in their own skin. Throughout the years, thanks to the feedback obtained from medical staff at the Children's hospital and the parents, we have learned how participating in the camp and learning about their condition through games, sports and recreational activities has help improve their personal relationship with their condition and has allowed them to make use of their acquired knowledge in their everyday life, therefore improving their daily glycemic management. Through the past 5 years we have also had testimonials from the attendees and their parents on how being part of the camp helped them in the process of acceptance of their condition, how it has also allowed them to improve their family dynamic and the relationship with their physician, nutritionist and health staff. Without a doubt, today I can say one of the best and most fulfilling parts of our camp is being able to see each kid grow to love their own self, understand that they don't need to feel scared or paralyzed about their condition...