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April 18, 1997     Cape Gazette
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April 18, 1997

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CAPE GAZETHg, Friday, April 18 - April 24 1997 - 31 HEALTH & FITNESS "Sugar Free Kids" learn diabetes health strategies By Rosanne Pack middle of a medical dilemma is much of Brochure leads to camp avoid temptation and tied up a nutritious Two weekends ago, the chilly weather at Camp Barnes gave a glow to cheeks, and smoke from the lodge fireplace made cloth- ing smell cozy and woodsy as bands of "Sugar Free Kids" swarmed from outdoor games to crafts in the gazebo and then back to the tables stocked with orange slices, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and jugs of juice. It was the Third Annual Family Weekend Retreat sponsored by the American Dia- betes Association (ADA), Deiaware Affili- ate; and it drew together children with dia- betes and their families for two days of ed- ucation, sharing of feelings and hours of fun and games. Diabetes is a very serious medical condi- tion that brings about the family retreat, and the weekend includes ample medical infor- mation and resource material, knowledge- able speakers and many first-hand experi- ences. However, an uninformed observer might only see youngsters of various ages and sizes interacting with each other and their family members in a high-spirited camping adventure. Aiming to be normal Enhancing the normalcy of life in the what family diabetes camp is all about. Jack Snitzer, D.O., a guest speaker for the ADA event, said, "One of our goals is mak- ing life as normal as possible. Adults can't telegraph their concerns to children because children can sense things. "If parents have trouble, kids have trou- ble. Don't make them feel as if they have no control, as if they have a bad thing." Snitzer, an endocrinologist, said that too often, the psychological areas of a family dealing with juvenile diabetes are not ad, dressed. He said counseling is necessary for families that can't work things out on their own. He pointed out that education is vital. "The more the parent and child know, the better. The child cancome to better care for herself or himself," Snitzer said. "You'll get frustrated, but learn as much as you can. There are support groups and resources; seek them all out." One family who came from Brooklyn, NY, had already taken the doctor's words to heart before it arrived at camp. When the family learned of the child's diabetes, it im- mediately began contacting resources, in- eluding searching on the interact. A chance stop at a tourist information kiosk brought the family to Delaware and Camp Barnes. Rosanne Pack photos A gang of "Sugar Free Kids," including siblings of those who llve with dia- betes, join the committee that makes American Diabetes Association Family Weekend Retreat at Camp Barnes happen. Committee members are, back row, (l.r) Patt Wagner;, Charles Wagner, M.D.; Irene Bunting;, Mel Lewis;DQn Post; Wendy Meats and Ginny Borodulia. Mitchell Pearce said his family pioked up a Hot Air Balloon Festival brochure while traveling to Maryland a few weeks ago. Seeing that the festival benefits the Sussex chapter of ADA, he immediately called the infornation number and talked to Don Post, Sussex ADA special events coordinator. "They were still sort of in shock from learning of their daughter's illness," said Post. "When I told them about 'Sugar Free Kids Camp,' they immedi- ately committed to come. "They will come to learn that there are no easy answers, but I think this was a very valuable experience for them." As the day moved from outdoor games to guest speakers to blood sugar testing, the family from Brook- lyn mixed and mingled, listened, asked questions and shared emotions. By late af- ternoon, with Morn, Shad, and Sugar Free Kid Ayleen comparing award bead neck- laces, Mitchell ended up on the end of a hot air balloon tether while toddler Harrison slept nearby in his stroller. The award beads, given out by bead lady Kathy Lewis, were an ongoing source of fun throughout the day. Acts of kindness, super volunteerism, good sportsmanship, accurate knowledge of diabetes and its treatment and general high spirits earned beads for kids and adults alike. Kathy and her husband Mel are dedicated volunteers for family camp and other ADA activities. While Kathy watched for bead- worthy deeds, Mel kept families hopping with outdoor games. He circled people with boola hoops, and ran them up and down a field, sending kids on "shopping trips" for the proper food to fill their specific needs. Connected to each other with yards of yarn, teams of youngsters shopped among the adults, each of them wearing a food la- bel. As they passed among the adults, "Cup Cake" called out to be picked as "Potato Chips" and "Sugary Soda" also tried to tempt them as well. Most of the Sugar Free Kids managed to Does giving blood impact athletic performance? is susceptible to heat-related ill- nesses. The following is a list of steps in which loss of fluid can lead to heat stroke: Sweat has less tension or os- motic pressure than blood because it contains more water than salt. If an athlete loses more water than salt, the fluid inside the cell becomes more tensed than the flu- id outside the cell. Water will flow from the inte- rior of the cell to outside the cell to maintain osmotic equilibrium. osmotic pressure. This results in an increased concentration of electrolytes (a substance that ion- izes in solutions such as potassi- um, sodium, chloride and magne- sium) in the remaining blood vol- ume. The sweating mechanism may close down to retain fluids. The As the exercising individual rhythm of the heart. continues to pets#re, water must As an athlete becomes acclima- move from the blood to maintain tized, the salt retrieval system is lunch such as "Peanut Butter Sandwich," "Apple," and "Pretzels." At the end of each food gathering session, teams compared food notes and discussed their choices. There was a kissing bandit game and on- going basketball as well as impromtu mini groups that shared in- formation and opin- ions on types of in- sulin, kids' schedules and family approach- es. After his presenta- tion and question and answer session, Snitzer moved among parents and grandparents, offer- ing advice and listen- ing to their individual Sharing the fun of the family re- experiences with var- treat for children with diabetes are ious medications and four-year-old Wilmington resident modes of treatment. Gabrielle Ponce, left, and volunteer He heard some par- Kelly Shupe of Milford. ents explain how some families fit insulin doses into soccer three times a week and how others took in- evitable rebellions in stride. Frequently, athletes young and old question what effect giving blood will have on their athletic performance. Heat stress is a concern to the athlete because of decreased blood levels. Because of the hot, humid weather now coming upon us, ac- climatization, or the ability to ad- just to different climates must be explained. The exercising person who has not be acclimatized loses salt and water. This results in decreased plasma volume which lowers the person's blood pressure. Therefore, the person exercising increased and the sodium content decreases for the conditioned ath- letes. This is why conditioned, ac- climatized athletes need less salt. Acclimatization is a key factor for people exercising in hot, hu- mid weather. It is especially important to per- sons who give blood and then body core temperature increases want to exercise afterwards. Con- and the athletes may suffer heat ditioning is a!s0 important..The stroke, better conditioned person will be The increased concentration of able to work out after giving the electrolytes may affect the " blood. i Athletes must drink plenty of fluids, especially water, because Continued on page 32 A family affair A family from Wilmington illustrated the fact that diabetes happens to a family, not to just one individual. Grandmother and grandfather accompanied Anthony Poncy, his room, dad and sister. "Anthony was diagnosed on January 25 of this year. He's five now," Jennifer deJe- sus explained before she pointed and laughed. "Look, he's the one not paying at- tention to the game instructions." The mother said that her co-workers are extremely supportive and some of them put her in contact with the ADA. She said a call to Post was made just in time for them to register for family camp. Families from all areas of Delaware par- ticipated in the Sugar Free Kids two-day event. Some of them were repeats from pre- vious years; many were new. There were also families from Maryland, along with the long-distance winners from Brooklyn. The camp is free to families of children with diabetes. It is supported by corporate and individual sponsorships. Post said that many individuals give time and effort to make it work. Continued on page 33 ..:,. ) HEALTH TOPICS Roger "Dec" Hunt is a certi- fied athletic trainer, strength coach and fitness instructor at Sussex Technical High School.