Medtronic, a longtime sponsor of the John Warvel camp for children with diabetes, has awarded two $100,000 grants for diabetes prevention and treatment programs in the county.
Roy Wiley, director of manufacturing and planning for the Warsaw location, presented the two-year Health Access Grants to representatives of the Kosciusko YMCA and American Diabetes Association at Medtronic Wednesday.
The ADA grant will fund Camp John Warvel, a residential summer camp for children with types 1 and 2 diabetes, held every summer at the YMCA’s Camp Crosley. The grant for YMCA will fund a Diabetes Prevention Program, a 16-week course that helps participants adopt habits to reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes and improve their overall health.
Skyler Randall, a 13 year old camp participant, attended the presentation with parents Mike and Angie. He said he likes meeting people like him and enjoying traditional camp activities like canoeing, rock climbing and sports.
ADA Associate Director Janell Love and Senior Manager Carol Dixon noted the kids are treated like any other but there are also 100 medical staff on site, who teach them throughout the day about treatment and management – from proper nutrition to blood testing and taking care of themselves in the heat.
“It’s the first time many kids have given themselves an injection,” said Dixon, adding that they get more comfortable about shots or insulin pumps after seeing other kids use them.
Angie Randall said counselors ask campers what their goals are, and her family talks about sticking with them when Skyler gets back home.
Stacey Thomas, YMCA director of healthy living, shared that their prevention program teaches behavior changes and holds follow-up meetings for participants, who also receive a six-month membership to the Y. She also noted the Y does non-fasting diabetes testing and said of 48 people recently screened, seven showed positive.
Type 2 diabetes could be doing damage for years before someone realizes they have it, Dixon observed.
Wiley praised both programs and said Medtronic is pleased to be able to support them with two of several grants given in 36 communities worldwide. He also noted that the acquisition last year of Covidien Plc, an Irish maker of surgical supplies including those for bariatric surgery, “positioned Medtronic to cover head to toe when it comes to healthcare.”
(Story By The Times Union)