Fundraiser to be held for diabetes camp for children
Ryan Summerlin August 24, 2012
I was born and raised here in South Lake Tahoe. Growing up with Type 1 diabetes is hard; it’s even harder when you go to a very small school and no one else has it. I was diagnosed when I was 10 years old and my dance teacher, Miss Marcia, told my mom she thought I was diabetic. She had other students with Type 1 diabetes and I showed all the signs. At my small school at Zephyr Cove, I knew of no one with Type 1. Having Type 1 and dealing with dangerously high and low blood sugars on top of going through puberty was more than challenging. The thought of having to do insulin shots on a daily basis was very scary. Shorty after I was diagnosed, I was introduced to a Camp Buck, where I could spend a week at with more Type 1 diabetics, doctors and nurses. I went and it changed my life. Still, to this day, it continues to encourage and amaze me. The friends I met when I was 10 years old continue to be my friends now, sharing a common daily battle, Type 1 diabetes.
Camp Buck is a camp for children with Type 1 diabetes. Created by the Nevada Diabetes Association, Camp Buck provides opportunities for children living with Type 1 diabetes to meet one another and also to learn about the latest technologies available to them. Given the stresses of living with Type 1 diabetes – constantly checking one’s blood sugar, administering one’s own insulin shots, and even changing out an insulin pump – these children benefit greatly from learning that they are not alone in their challenges. The camp has doctors who volunteer and these doctors are the top endocrinologists in the area of Reno and Sacramento. The kids get to try out new top-of-the-line technology as well. We currently have more than 10 Type 1 diabetics in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District who can benefit from Camp Buck. The Nevada Diabetes association and its camp director, Sarah Gliech (also Type 1), have made Camp Buck the top diabetes camp in the nation.
I started as a camper and now am a counselor. My friend Tara Winkelman, also Type 1, started as a camper and is now the assistant camp director. We grew up going to this camp at the old 4-H camp here in Tahoe and now the camp is held in Portola at the Grizzly Creek Ranch.
I am proud to be a board member of the Nevada Diabetes Association. This means that I will be able to help make decisions with Camp Buck. I have worked hard in my life to not let Type 1 diabetes affect my positive outlook on life. I am the proud owner of RAH hair studio and teach dance at the Marcia Sarosik Dance studio. I have a beautiful daughter and family.
I am now raising money for my favorite cause by hosting an adult prom. The event will be held at Horizon Casino Resort, which has donated the space Sept. 15 from 8 p.m. to midnight. Tickets cost $50 in advance and $65 at the door.
KTHO and many local business friends have been so great in helping me sponsor this event. Come have fun, win prizes and dance the night away.
Tickets and tables can be purchased at www.diabetesnv.org. If you would like to donate to this cause or have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.