INDIANAPOLIS, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Many children dream of being a superhero when growing up. To those with diabetes, that is exactly what they see in Kris Freeman. Freeman, an Olympic cross country skier with type 1 diabetes, has shared his personal story―including high points and low points―with nearly 5,000 children at diabetes camps over the past seven years. This week, along with Lilly Diabetes, he kicks off his 8th annual U.S. diabetes summer camp tour.
Freeman Aims to Inspire
When diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 19, Freeman was told that his dream of being an Olympic athlete was not possible. Since then, Freeman has transformed himself into one of the premier cross-country skiers in U.S. history, recently becoming the grueling 50K national champion for the fourth time, with consecutive titles in the last two years. While visiting 10 camps this year, Freeman will take part in this annual summer rite of passage once again and share the details of his journey to let campers with type 1 diabetes know the many things that are possible for people with diabetes.
"I enjoy visiting diabetes camps in my off-season because I learn from the campers as much as I hope they learn from me and my experiences," said Freeman. "I've come a long way on and off of the ski trail since I was diagnosed 11 years ago, and I hope to continually encourage young people to find that same strength and motivation to keep learning and to stay positive. Being at camp with others who have type 1 diabetes is a terrific place for those lessons to unfold."
Camps Instill Hope and Support Long-term Success
Diabetes camps offer unique experiences to campers in a camp setting. Campers learn critical diabetes self-management skills that can set them up for a lifetime of good diabetes management and often come to find – many for the first time – that there are others out there just like them.
"One of our goals is to help our campers see that they are not alone and that they do have a future despite the challenges inherent in having a chronic illness like diabetes," said, Mark Moyer, Executive Director of Setebaid Services, which operates four diabetes camps, and Acting President of the Diabetes Education and Camping Association. "That's why having a role model like Kris Freeman come to visit and share with them his own experiences with diabetes – good and bad – is so important. Our campers get a glimpse of what they might be capable of in the future through him. And maybe for some, that means being an Olympic athlete one day. Until then, we'll continue to cheer Kris on as he heads to his next Olympics in 2014."
Supporting Diabetes Camp Since 2001
Lilly Diabetes has a long history of supporting diabetes camps. Lilly is one of the largest providers of insulin donations and provides a broad range of programs and resources that help bring the camp experience to life for each child. New this year, Lilly is providing campers with bound journals that feature Freeman's story with personal photos and additional pages for campers to reflect and track important milestones at camp and at home.
"Lilly Diabetes believes that every child with type 1 diabetes should have the opportunity to attend a camp, and that's why we've continued to support diabetes camps through a variety of carefully designed resources, programs and product donations geared to the specific needs of the campers," said Matt Caffrey, US Specialty Marketing Director. "We are deeply committed to supporting diabetes camps and it is one of the many ways we can help meet the everyday needs of families and children with type 1 diabetes."
Freeman's 2012 summer diabetes camp tour begins June 20 in Caribou, Maine, and runs through August 8. For more information about his work with Lilly Diabetes or for information about other Lilly Diabetes support programs, please visit www.lillydiabetes.com.
For information about diabetes camps in your area, visit www.diabetescamps.org.Camp ScheduleCamp Adventure, Caribou, Maine–June 20
About Lilly Diabetes
Lilly has been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923, when we introduced the world's first commercial insulin. Today we work to meet the diverse needs of people with diabetes through research and collaboration, a broad and growing product portfolio and a continued commitment to providing real solutions–from medicines to support programs and more–to make lives better. For more information, visit www.lillydiabetes.com.
About Eli Lilly and Company
Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), a leading innovation-driven company, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers―through medicines and information―for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com.
HI79018 06/2012 PRINTED IN USA ©Lilly USA, LLC 2012. All rights reserved.
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