At just six years old, Caleb was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, the main type of sugar in the blood.
According to Caleb’s mom, Leah, the biggest challenge they face day-to-day as a family, is trying to maintain Caleb’s correct range of blood glucose, while not letting it become too intrusive to his life.
Because of his diagnosis, Caleb is limited in what camps and typical youth programs he is able to participate in. “Any other sleepaway camps that are developed to accommodate Type 1 Diabetics are just not within our budget – they are too expensive for us to be able to send Caleb,” shared camper mom, Leah.
This year was the Press family’s third year participating in Roundup River Ranch programming. When presented with the opportunity to sign up for camp online, they jumped at the chance “We decided to attend camp online because of our amazing experiences with traditional camp. Every year we have a blast, the staff is always awesome, and we knew the same level of care and compassion would follow to an online platform.”
For the Press family, camp is much more than just the fun activities and camp programs (though they love those too). Their favorite part about Roundup River Ranch is all of the families they get to meet along the way. “The families at camp understand what it is like living with a serious illness. At home, none of our friends face the same challenges.”
Camper dad, Craig, shared that one of the best parts of camp is that their family can completely forget about their child’s illness. “At camp it is normalized in a way that everyone who is dealing with a lifelong diagnosis can breathe, and feel part of a larger community with similar challenges.”
As a family, the Presses appreciated the opportunity to connect to camp virtually this year, at a time when the world seems so isolated. Caleb’s favorite activity was the heart-racing, Minute To Win It challenges – an activity where our campers participate in timed challenges utilizing material received in their Camp Kit. As for the parents, they learned to not take themselves too seriously, and that it is okay to dance with strangers on a computer screen!
“Roundup River Ranch is a community that allows kids to be kids, and families to enjoy each other’s company without all the ‘other stuff.’ We can let loose, have fun, and truly forget our worries. Camp is desperately needed for families going through these struggles, because serious illnesses are a daily and lifelong journey. Everyone needs an escape from the stressors of life. It is no different for families living with serious illnesses. Thank you for giving this to our family!”