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Kelsey T. at Chris Dudley

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Hey, Camp Fans!

With extreme excitement to share the submissions we received for our 2018 ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest in which we ask campers and parents alike to write in about how the camp experience went. We got such a great turnout that we’re still sharing them this far into 2019! Here is another installment to our contest collection!

Today’s submission comes from Kelsey T. who spent her summer at Chris Dudley Basketball Camp! Check it out:

When I was 7 years old, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease, a chronic illness where the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that breaks down carbohydrates into energy. In order to stay healthy, I will need to give myself insulin (via syringes or an insulin pump) every day, multiple times a day, for the rest of my life and monitor my blood sugar to make sure I am healthy. Being diagnosed with T1D at a young age was isolating, scary, and had me questioning what my future held. Chris Dudley Basketball Camp for Kelsey T.!

When I was 10 years old, I started going to the Chris Dudley Basketball Camp, a basketball camp started by Chris Dudley who was the first NBA player with T1D. Every camper had T1D and played basketball, which I loved. I was nervous, scared, and hesitant to spend a week away from my parents in a new place. But after one week at CDBC, I knew I had found a home away from home and a new camp family. I was immediately welcomed into the camp family, as I have seen so many new campers be welcomed throughout the years. The magic of camp is truly indescribable. For me, it was a safe place. A place where everyone understood the daily challenges of T1D; a place where for once in my life, I wasn't the outsider with a chronic illness. All of a sudden, the questioning of my future that I felt was answered. All of the ‘why me?’s had a reason. Camp. Camp was my why, camp was my future. At camp, I learned that despite T1D, I could do whatever I dreamed of. When I was 16 years old, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that camp was what I was meant to do with my life. I went to college to get a degree in Psychology and Camp Administration. I have now been on full time staff for 2 years at CDBC and I have been coming to camp for 17 years. Not a year goes by that I don't find a passion for the campers that I get to meet every year at camp. They are truly my family. They are my ‘why’. Camp has forever changed me, saved me, and inspired me.

What a personal submission, Kelsey! We appreciate so much your openness and honesty in sharing your medical matters. How cool to get this somewhat retrospective look at what summer camp has done for you (it’s always great to hear a success story)! I’m so very happy you discovered your ‘why’ and it’s amazing to hear how essential Chris Dudley Basketball Camp has become in your life! I hope you squeeze the fun out of every summer! If anybody else would like to check out CDBC, give them a closer look sometime and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


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