Letter: Community help makes Camp Sweet Life gift possibleI will TRI. I will make a difference. On Saturday, June 9, I completed my first Half-Ironman triathlon with “Camp Sweet Life” written on one forearm and “I am determined” written on the other.
By: Gail Graupman, Mankato, Worthington Daily Globe
I will TRI. I will make a difference. On Saturday, June 9, I completed my first Half-Ironman triathlon with “Camp Sweet Life” written on one forearm and “I am determined” written on the other — and that is what kept me moving forward even when I wanted to quit. It was quite warm that afternoon and the course was hilly, not my ideal conditions to finish the race. But in life, as in my race, we don’t always get to choose our circumstances. I participated in this triathlon and chose to use it as a fundraiser for Camp Sweet Life, an organization for kids with Type I diabetes. Those kids didn’t have a choice when their bodies quit producing insulin and they don’t have a choice to make it go away – there is nothing they can do but keep moving forward with what they have been given.
And they have been given Camp Sweet Life. My daughter was diagnosed July 5, 2011, with Type I diabetes and experienced her first camp last summer. Wow, did she come home excited — swimming, games, crafts, food, campfires and new friends. But most importantly, she got to be away from home with other kids who had to test their blood before they ate and take insulin so their blood glucose wouldn’t get too high. She was just like everyone else. This year she is old enough to stay overnight and she is elated. Parents are elated as well because there are registered nurses to help monitor the blood levels (even in the middle of the night), and many of the camp counselors have diabetes themselves. It’s a safe environment for the kids to be part of and one where they fit right in.
Because of the generous support of this community, Lilli and I were able to give Camp Sweet Life over $3,100. Words alone cannot express our gratitude and appreciation for what you have given. When budgets for non-profit organizations are tight, this money is a tremendous gift not only for the board members but for the families of the campers as well. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart. God’s blessings on you all.