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Mary Haddow and Ethan Pascoe attended the Diabetes WA kids camp in September 2018Thirty four children aged nine and ten years old attended a camp especially for kids with type 1 diabetes last week. The two night pirate-themed camp was run by Perth Children’s Hospital with support from Diabetes WA.

Greenwood resident Lauren Haddow’s daughter Mary is nine years old, and has had diabetes since she was two. Both Lauren and Mary were very excited about Mary’s adventure when we spoke to them earlier this month.

“It’s going to be an amazing experience for Mary. There will be diabetes experts on hand to look after the kids, so Mary will get to have fun and just be a kid,” Lauren said.

The life of a child with diabetes can be complicated – measuring blood glucose levels, being injected with insulin, and having to think carefully about what they eat. While kids generally handle it all with amazing resilience, it can sometimes feel isolating to have to manage their condition while their friends are either oblivious or curious. So Perth Children’s Hospital and Diabetes WA organise camps for children of various ages to meet other children with diabetes, and help them realise that they are not alone.

Ethan Pascoe met Mary at the camp. The Woodvale resident’s mother, Ruth, is already an experienced camp mum because Ethan’s older sister also lives with diabetes and has attended two such camps before.

“I think the camp will be a bit of an eye-opener for Ethan, to be surrounded by kids that deal with diabetes every day as he does. Hopefully he will gain more self-confidence from the experience,” Ruth said.

Lauren had similar hopes for Mary.

“Mary’s pretty good at managing her diabetes, and I think the camp will help her to realise that she can do it for herself without Mum and Dad around.”

As for Lauren, the camp represented an opportunity for the busy mother to get two full nights’ sleep, without having to get up a couple of times to check blood glucose levels!

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