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Young Diabetes Patients Form Bonds At ‘Camp Colorado’

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Kids at the  American Diabetes Association Camp Colorado (credit: CBS)

Kids at the American Diabetes Association Camp Colorado (credit: CBS)

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – This weekend hundreds of cyclists will hit the road for the annual “Tour de Cure.” It’s a great ride that raises money and awareness for the American Diabetes Association and benefits programs for patients of all ages.

On first glance, it looks like an average summer camp with games of skill and contests of will to see who can last the longest without laughing. But in between they test, and test, and test again. All 265 kids at the camp have diabetes — kids like Theo Stetsma from Broomfield.

“When you first come here it’s really strange, because like, ‘Whoa, these people know what I’m going through,’ ” Theo said.

And through the games and the tests bonds are formed.

“There is definitely a good connection that helps with creating friendship,” Theo said.

There are new friends and mentors, like Logan Page, who started as a camper and returned as medical staff.

“The kids can teach diabetes to other kids better than any of the adults up there,” Page said.

Last year the American Diabetes Association Camp Colorado had to be canceled. The Waldo Canyon Fire burned through the property, leaving visible scars. On the day CBS4 visited, the campers worked to repair some of the damage and got a valuable lesson in forestry. But the lessons also come at the lunch table with counting carbs and learning about nutrition.

Sandy Hoops oversees the care by volunteering a week of her summer for 33 years and counting.

“I’m humbled because these families, these parents, these kids have to do this day in and day out,” Hoops said.

Diabetes camp wouldn’t be possible without dedicated volunteers and plenty of donations. That’s why the Tour de Cure is so important. Learn more about the ride in a special section of the American Diabetes Association’s website.

LINK: Camp Colorado

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