Diabetes Health Type 1: Chris Dudley Blazes a Trail for Children with Diabetes

As a teenager, Chris Dudley was diagnosed with type I diabetes. At the time he was told that a person with diabetes could not become a professional basketball player. Through hard work and excellent control of his diabetes, Dudley proved that this was a fallacy. Today, Dudley is the starting center for the Portland Trail Blazers and one of the National Basketball Association’s top defensive players.

The Chris Dudley Basketball Camp for youths with diabetes, founded in 1996, gives boys and girls ages 10 to 17 the opportunity to experience camp life centered around basketball. The goal of the camp is to provide campers with sound basketball skills and an understanding that with proper care diabetes will not prevent them from leading a normal life. All 64 campers are on a strict regimen to maintain blood sugar levels, with individual meal plans addressing their specific needs.

The camp is located at the Cedar Ridge Camp in Vernonia, Ore., one hour west of Portland. Sixteen counselors and eight basketball coaches with high school and college experience provide a camper-to-staff ratio that allows for individual attention. The staff also includes two endocrinologists, two diabetes educators, a sports-related specialist, a nutritionist and three registered nurses.

In just two years the camp has made a name for itself. Increased self-esteem, an atmosphere of enthusiasm, extra encouragement and the opportunity to make new friends with similar experiences are just a few of the components helping build the camp’s reputation.

While at the camp, campers receive a camp t-shirt, a camp notebook, a Certificate of Achievement, a team photo, prizes, awards and informative lectures featuring Chris Dudley, the coaches and the medical staff. Each day is filled with activities beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 11 p.m.

The camp, costing $360 per camper, will take place from August 3 to the 8. Scholarships are available. For more information about The Chris Dudley Basketball Camp, call (619) 554-0374.

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