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Jul 16, 2019

Learning to Live with Diabetes

A group of sixty-young children and youths are attending a camp where they are learning to take care of their blood sugar levels with the support of their parents. The more exposed they are about living a healthy lifestyle, the better they manage their condition. For the type one diabetics, social inclusion is also a factor in their daily lives so the camp is also teaching them to build confidence. Here is News Five’s Hipolito Novelo.


Hipolito Novelo reporting

The ninth annual diabetes youth camp kicked off on Monday. The camp brings together children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with Type One Diabetes.


Anthony Castillo, Education Officer, Belize Diabetes Association

Anthony Castillo

“At this time we have over sixty-plus children throughout the country living with Type One diabetes. So we invited them to our camp to learn. Once you develop diabetes it is a lifelong condition and for children and young adult, it can be a challenge but at this camp, you get to meet other children who are living with the same condition, you learn how to cope with it. You learn what foods you can eat. There is general education on the condition of diabetes at the camp.”


At the age of four, seventeen-year-old Deandre Dawson was diagnosed with Type One diabetes. Camps like these help diabetic patients like Deandre to properly manage their condition.


Deandre Dawson

Deandre Dawson, Diagnosed with Diabetes

“At that time it was very hard for me because I was a young child and I didn’t know about the condition so I had my father that helped me along the way to teach me about the condition. Since I became older I learned about the Belize Diabetes Association and with them and the camp it helps me to build awareness. It helps me to learn and control my condition more.”


William Dawson, Father of Deandre Dawson

William Dawson

“The thing about the camp is that I needed to understand the condition and it helped me to build awareness on how to treat Deandra. So joining the association assisted and benefited me greatly in learning more about the condition and how to deal with it psychologically as a parent.”


While eating and living healthy is a crucial factor in managing the condition, the camp offers the patients much more. It offers them inclusion.


Nairobi Cortez

Nairobi Cortez, Diagnosed with Diabetes

“Diabetes affects every part of your body and you have to change your diet mainly and exercise is a very key thing for us and you cannot go without your medication. You have social implications. Even sometimes a social outing can be a stressful thing for us because we don’t want to be labelled saying that you cannot eat this, you cannot have too much of that. So sometimes that can also be a negative side effect of maybe having diabetes, the social implications.”


Aesha Garbutt, Diagnosed with Diabetes

Aesha Garbutt

“They would be embarrassed when they are around other people who are not diabetic. They would feel that they are different at some point. They would feel that they cannot go to certain places, do certain things because I am restricted to these things. I am diabetic. I can’t do this because maybe this will happen. That’s one of the biggest challenges that I face.”


One of the most important things that the camp teaches diabetic patients is the determination to live a normal life.


Deandre Dawson

“At times I do think about it and think about the past but now I have overcome that because I have learned how to control my condition so for me it is normal.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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