Helping Future Patients

Published on 12 August 2015

This summer, P3 students Manny Habtu and Jason Ferrer spent a week working at the American Diabetes Association’s Camp EDI (Exercise, Diet and Insulin) in Potosi, Mo. The experience not only allowed them to positively impact the lives of kids with Type 1 diabetes, but also prepared them to better serve their future patients.

After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 16, Manny Habtu’s parents sent him to Camp EDI to meet other kids with the disease. This summer, he served as unit leader and convinced his friend, Jason Ferrer, to join him as a counselor. Jason thought it would be a great way to use the knowledge he gained at STLCOP to help educate his campers on managing their diabetes.

“Camp is such a great way for kids with diabetes to meet other kids with the disease,” Manny says. “Each day is full of fun activities, and it’s a great escape from the real world.” Jason had attended summer camps before, “but my experience this summer allowed me to gain a better understanding for what it’s like for those who live with diabetes and what they go through on a daily basis.”

In addition to all the usual camp  activities like hiking, swimming, canoeing, fishing, and archery, campers learned how to count carbs, check their blood sugar, and administer their insulin injections. Dieticians, physicians, and nursing students were all on staff. “Camp opened my eyes to what it is like to live with diabetes and how difficult it can be to maintain blood glucose levels within the goal ranges,” Jason says.

Both students agree that their experience at Camp EDI will make them better pharmacists. “I am much more prepared to work with patients with chronic disease now,” Manny says. Jason says camp has equipped him “to help future patients make better decisions with their diet and diabetes management and ultimately improve their quality of life.”

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