Diabetes Mellitus is a group of metabolic disorders that cause the body difficulty regulating glucose (blood sugar) levels. Current research suggests that it is caused by autoimmune, genetic and environmental factors.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are nearly 26 million diabetes sufferers in the US today, with 1.9 million new cases diagnosed every year. Diabetes is a disorder of the immune system, and sufferers typically have difficulty processing viruses, bacteria and other “foreign” substances. The condition occurs when the body is unable to properly process glucose and produce the correct levels of insulin; insulin is the hormone that allows sugar to enter cells and produce energy. When sugar levels are uneven, it can seriously damage the body.
With Type 1 Diabetes, the pancreas ceases to function and there is a shutdown in the body with regards to insulin production.
Originally known as “Juvenile Onset Diabetes,” it is most common in children and young adults. Symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, drowsiness and fatigue, labored breathing, unusual breath odor (often described as “Fruity” or “Sweet”), confusion and unconsciousness (“Diabetic Coma”).
Type 2 Diabetes often develops in adults who either have a family history of the condition or who suffer from other risk factors that might affect the production of insulin, such as obesity and poor nutrition.
Type 2 results from a lessened capability of the pancreas and typically has a slower onset than Type 1.
There has been an epidemic in recent years in the number of children suffering from diabetes, due to the rising consumption of junk food and sugar. Those with diabetes must adhere to strict nutritional guidelines and balance their blood sugar daily to avoid swings in blood sugar levels. Proper exercise can effectively reduce symptoms and help prevent complications.
Left untreated, diabetes is a deadly condition and is attributed to thousands of fatalities in the US every year. Researchers continue to probe the causes of diabetes, and strive to develop effective preventions and treatments.
Among a number of organizations, Ribbons for Research has selected the following organisation in support of this condition:
Camp Conrad Chinnock – Diabetes, Camping, Educational & Support Services
Camp Conrad Chinnock– Diabetes, Camping, Educational & Support Services – is a charity within which the Founders of Ribbons For Research have been personally involved – taking the opportunity to volunteer at the camp when their assistance is needed.
The camp was established in 1958 when Dr. Robert Chinnock wanted to provide children suffering from Type 1 Diabetes a place where they could have a positive experience and discover that they could do the same activities as children without diabetes. Jim Risner, from YMCA Camp Conrad, was chosen to be the Program Director. The camp’s routines incorporate the monitoring and regulating of each child’s condition. Dr. Chinnock retired in 1979 and was replaced by Rocky Wilson, Ph.D.
Rocky emphasizes the recognition of the psychological impact of the disease and the dramatic impact of peer-level integration on kids who have previously experienced social isolation. He also places great emphasis on providing kids with support while offering them the chance to take control of their own diabetes care in a safe location. The Camp also acknowledges that diabetes affects the entire family with a family camp held annually as well as the opportunity for parents to meet doctors, therapists, and counselors, many of whom themselves suffer from diabetes. Perhaps most telling is the number of campers who return to the Camp again and again, serving as alumni volunteers, to tell of the lifelong impact it has had on them.
Camp Conrad Chinnock is located east of Los Angeles in the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains. Your donation goes directly to the Camp so that a child with Type 1 diabetes can enjoy the great outdoors among his/her peers.