For the seventh consecutive year the Belize Diabetes Association opened its one week summer camp in Belize City. The five day camp runs through to Friday, August 4 and entails presentations and activities geared at helping young diabetic persons cope with the disease. The camp opened with breakfast this morning and a brief ceremony. According to Anthony Castillo, the President of the Belize Diabetic Association this annual event seeks to provide support and answers to young persons who are forced to adapt to a different lifestyle than their peers due to diabetes. He added that aside from this camp, the association also practices preventative strategies.
One of the presenters for this week is CorneloMarfield who heads the Belmopan branch of the Belize Diabetes Association. One of the aspects he presented on today was the psychological effects the disease can have on those affected.
24-year-old, Karen Rhaburn has been coming to the camp since its inception in 2010. Her diagnosis came when she was about five years old a short while after her father died due to complications of diabetes. It has not been an easy journey for her and her family as her sugar levels have, at times, dangerously escalated.
In 2016, two of the camp’s regular participants passed away due to diabetes. Diabetes is a disease where a person’s blood glucose or blood sugar levels are too high. The glucose coupled with the insulin that the body produces work together to inject energy into the cells. With Type One Diabetes, the body not make insulin while with Type Two Diabetes, the body does not make or use the insulin accordingly. According to Castillo, statistics in Belize has shown that fourteen point two percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 79 have been diagnosed with diabetes; official statistics are not available for persons under twenty years old.