What made you decide to volunteer at Camp Hendon and how long have you been volunteering?
I started volunteering so I could provide kids the support and love I received as a kid when I attended camp. To be a role model. And to work side-by-side with my role models I had as a camper. To continue my own diabetes education, and to pass down my knowledge to the campers. To inspire, and to be inspired.
What is your role at camp?
I was an adult counselor for many years, and as camp grew, so did I. So now my role during camp is Supply Manager. From insulin to eye drops, from test strips to trash bags, if we got it, I know where it is, lol. I am also on our Operations Team. I also like to provide a sense of support for the volunteers, kind of like big brother. Camp can be mentally exhausting and emotional, so being there for the adults is just as important to me as being there for the kids.
Why do you come back year after year? What do you get from camp or how has it impacted your life?
I return every year to be with my family, and to welcome new members to that family. Camp not only gives me a sense of purpose, it also gives me the support and love and the courage to be a better me.
What is your favorite activity at camp and why?
GAGA BALL... camper, or staff, I will take you down!
What are some things you have learned or taken away from camp?
Well as a camper, I learned how to carb-count and how to properly treat a low blood sugar. To give my own injections. I learned how to treat high blood sugars, and how things effect my body. Most importantly, I learned that I am not alone. As an adult, camp reminds me that I do have the knowledge and the tools to be a better diabetic. I have the love and support of Camp Hendon. Also, how to work under pressure without using cuss words, lol.
What do you do in your real life when you’re not giving your time to Camp Hendon?
I am a server for Logan's Roadhouse. I love my job, and they have always allowed me to take time off for any camp function. I am very thankful to have an employer who understands how important camp is to me. I do not have children, but I do have a mini-schnauzer named Jack. He is 8 years old, he's been my baby since he was 10 weeks old. My main hobby is my Wonder Woman collection, over 200 items, although I only have about half of that displayed in my room. Sometimes too much really is too much, but I can't stop. lol.
Do you have any skills or talents that many may not know about you?
My #1 talent is I can tell time. Without a clock. (I know, I live an exciting life.)
At what age were you diagnosed?
Favorite low treatment snack?
Swiss Rolls and Fudge Rounds
Are you on a pump &/or CGM? If so, which ones?
I am still a finger poker. My pump is the Animas Vibe. Yes it know it is out of date, but thanks to many of my fellow diabetics who upgraded, I have like 2 years worth of supplies. (Thank you everyone who has helped me with supplies, Diabetes is much better when it is free, lol)
What is hard for you? How do you manage it?
It is most frustrating having low blood sugar, and with my type of work, I go low just about every day. Low blood sugar always strikes at the worst times. They really should have called it Monkey Wrench Type One.
Favorite tip for dominating T1D when you have diabetes burnout?
VENT. VENT. VENT. Let it out. Tell a friend, tell a family member. Tell a fellow diabetic. Tell me. Let it out, the more diabetes emotion you bottle up, the more you will rebel. But rebelling hurts you, not diabetes. And when you absolutely are fed up, bolus some extra insulin and go buy your favorite candy bar.
Do you wear a medical ID?
I do not wear a medical ID. If anything happens to me, hopefully EMS will notice the insulin pump attached to me. Hopefully they know what an insulin pump is. Hmm, maybe I should have a medical ID, lol.