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Kiki’s Kids Camp Offers Education, Camaraderie

Kiki’s Kids Camp, a four-day summer camp for youth diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, is making the summer break both educational and funthis week at Darlington School’s Huffman Athletic Center.

Campers have traditional activities along with educational sessions designed to help them live healthy. Blood sugars are checked throughout the day to ensure their safety and to teach them how to monitor themselves when they are at home or school. Lessons also include good eating habits and even how to use a syringe.

Melissa Ward, a registered nurse with Floyd’s Diabetes Education department, was manning the table where kids could learn how to give injections. Campers were shown how to withdraw fluid from a vial and how to inject it into a simulated patch of skin.

“Many of them already know how to do this,” said Ward. “We kind of hope that by the time they are 11 they know how. The earlier they can do it, the better off they are.”

Former campers often show up as counselors when they become adults. Bayleigh Fisher, a certified nursing assistant at Floyd, was helping this year for the first time.

“It’s a lot of fun and there is a feeling of acceptance,” said Fisher. “It’s good to know when you are young that you are not going through this alone and there are others who know how you feel.”

Kiki’s Kids is funded by a planned gift from the estate of the late Angelique (Kiki) Petropole, a Rome pediatric nurse who had diabetes. The gift continues to fund the camp and the purchase of diabetes supplies for children in need.

Because of her work, her love for children, and her own personal experience with diabetes, Kiki decided to create a trust fund to provide encouragement and financial support to children with diabetes. Her gift is managed by Floyd Healthcare Foundation.