Summer camp is often an integral aspect of childhood. Summer camp with Type 1 Diabetes, though, is not an easy task. This is simply because most children do not maintain complete control over their diabetes. It is often the case that parents and children strike a balance in the on-going care of Type 1 Diabetes until the child is able to care for himself or herself entirely. Thus, the complete separation of child and parent is not an easy task - what is the child to do with respect to diabetes care when he or she is separated from the parent for a long period of time?
This is where Camp Joslin plays a role in the lives of many children. To understand the importance of Camp Joslin, one must first understand the importance of Joslin Diabetes Center.
Joslin Diabetes Center, based in Boston, is the world's leading center for diabetes care and research. The Joslin headquarters - an entire facility in Boston's Longwood Medical area - is an impressive establishment. The bottom floors, adorned with posters of patients and artwork by pediatric patients, are clinical centers. The top floors are comprised of research labs and historical archives, housing some of the most important diabetes-related documents in existence. There is no doubt that Joslin is a haven for all-things diabetes. Joslin's reach, however, extends far beyond the walls of its headquarters in Boston.
Camp Joslin echoes the values of Joslin's mission, providing superior care to kids with Type 1 Diabetes while simultaneously allowing kids with Type 1 Diabetes to lead excellent lives without complications from Type 1 Diabetes. To that end, Camp Joslin is an outstanding resource for kids with Type 1 Diabetes. I will speak for many people of all ages when I say that Camp Joslin was 'home' for many years as I grew up. Camp provided a place to better understand my diabetes, both from a social perspective and a treatment perspective. The community at Camp Joslin only propagates the high standards of treatment expected by Joslin.
The relationship between the community and care at Camp Joslin is seen through the many summers that I spent at camp. I wear an insulin pump to treat my diabetes. This insulin pump is attached to my body through a catheter site. This catheter site must be changed every 2 - 3 days to both ensure efficacy and prevent infection. My parents always changed my catheter site while I lived at home. However, the same cannot be said for Camp Joslin. It was during my first summer at camp that I changed my catheter site for the first time. This required that I insert an inch-long needle into my stomach.
I was nine years old.
I attended Camp Joslin for five consecutive summers. I am now a patient at Joslin Diabetes Center. It is through this long, on-going relationship with Joslin that I invite you to explore portraits of Joslin patients. The link below will bring you to a portfolio of portraits that I have created in collaboration with the team at Joslin.