DYF promotes active lifestyle for diabetics
September 22, 2010 5:44 PM
Morale was high as people of all ages assembled under one common cause on the beach that runs along Linda Del Mar Boulevard in Pacifica, Calif. That cause was diabetes.
The Diabetic Youth Foundation ran their annual Surf Camp on Sept. 19 to teach children and teens with and without diabetes to learn how to surf, while also keeping their diabetes at bay. Surf camp volunteers instructed participants on how to surf and keep safe in the water, while making sure their blood sugar levels remained at a point of normalcy.
"It's important to know that type 1 diabetics and their families can come out and enjoy themselves and the great weather and feel healthy and normal," said SF State student Chelsea Vilinskas, who volunteered at the camp.
The brisk day went smoothly as instructors taught the kids the basics of the cathartic sport, including getting fitted for wetsuits, doing exercises on the sand and going over safety instructions before galloping into the ocean water.
A significant emphasis of the event was to show that a person could have diabetes and still enjoy everyday activities without any inhibitions. Surfers were able to leave their concerns at home, hop on a board and ride some gentle waves.
"Kids and adults with diabetes can do everything else that people without diabetes can do," said Jennifer Goerzen, DYF camp manager. "We're showing that people can live well and thrive with diabetes."
As the afternoon tumbled through, everyone seemed exhausted yet thoroughly content. The tide was rising and the beach was emptying out as the sunlight did the same.
Smiles shined upward as hugs were given out on the end of a windy Sunday afternoon. The kids and their parents left Surf Camp with DYF's message resonating: just because they have to cope with diabetes every day does not mean that it has to hinder them, especially from catching some waves.
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