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Diabetes camp to educate, entertain

HASTINGS — Diabetes is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases. In the United States, about 215,000 youth have diabetes and about 13,000 new cases of type 1 diabetes are diagnosed each year. However, many children still feel isolated by their disease.

In 2000, Mary Lanning Healthcare created Camp Hot Shots Central Nebraska to connect youth who suffer from diabetes.

The 17th annual camp, June 13-14 at Grace United Methodist Church, is expected to draw more than 20 area children, ages 6-12, for two days of fun and education.

“Camp Hot Shots Central Nebraska provides a time for children with diabetes to interact with one another,” said DeAnn Carpenter, diabetes educator and program coordinator at Mary Lanning Healthcare. “Many of these children are the only ones in their class with diabetes and they do not know other children with the disease. Attending camp provides them with an opportunity to interact with kids who are checking blood sugars, taking insulin, counting carbohydrates and doing the same things they need to do on a daily basis to survive.”

While under the supervision of healthcare professionals, campers will participate in many fun activities. This year’s agenda features swimming, boating, crafts and other outdoor activities. In addition, kids learn how to care for themselves through games and educational sessions.

A certified dietitian plans all meals and snacks, and other healthcare providers are on hand to help monitor blood sugars and give insulin injections.