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Camp Helps, Bonds Families Dealing with Type 1 Diabetes

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at T1DE camp at T1DE camp
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A central Virginia family has both a father and daughter living with Type 1 diabetes. After feeling like there was no support for people with the disease in the area, they decided to do something to change that.

“Diabetes is a family disease and it involves everybody,” Caroline Cohen said.

That is why Caroline her dad Jordon Cohen put together the T1DE family camp. T1DE stands for “Type 1 Diabetes Experience,” and Saturday families had a safe place to share their own.

“It took me a couple of weeks before I realized that this is a chronic disease, that there is no cure, that Type 1 is just kind of a life-long battle,” Deanna Raymond, whose daughter has Type 1, said.

Raeden Pitt, a juvenile, has been diabetic for seven years and struggles with the harsh realities of the disease, especially after a scary incident with a friend who is also diabetic.

“She had a stroke and she's only 10, and it's really hard for me to see that happen to my friend because I feel like whoa, why did that happen?” Pitt said.

“It’s hard, your blood sugar goes up and down a lot and you can't really control it so that's really hard,” Katie Bond, who lives with Type 1, said.

Diabetes isn't just a disease that affects the people living with it, but everyone they love as well.

“It can be straining on the marriage it can be straining on the sibling relationships,” Cohen said.

“When you're little you just want to go up and play with your sister and have fun but when she's not feeling well or up to it ... I think just being patient with it was the hardest part,” Grace Cohen, Caroline’s sister, said.

T1DE’s Family Camp helped diabetics and their families escape the isolation many feel when dealing with the disease. Most importantly, it helped campers see that with the right care and support, they can do anything they want.

Raeden: Do you have diabetes?

Reporter: I've had diabetes for 18 years.

Raeden: Wow, that's a long time. Do you think I could be a reporter like you?

Reporter: I think you can do anything you want to do. 

T1DE plans to have another family camp in the spring at Camp Holiday Trails.

You can find more information on the organization and support-groups on the camp's website.

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