D-skate hockey is a weeklong elite program in Milton for kids living with type 1 diabetes. Some very special guests were on hand today including NHL player Cory Conacher, retired NHL player Nick Boynton and Olympic rower Chris Jarvis.
The camp has a lot of energy, it’s the second year and this time out attendance has tripled with 61 rambunctious and ambitious kids.
Hey – it’s not hockey without a little bit of rough housing, just like the pros.
During the camp parents and young athletes learn from medical experts, coaches and sport stars how to manage their diabetes.
Alyssa Coulter, living with diabetes: “There’s not just one way to manage diabetes — not just two ways. I’ve heard of 50 different ways since the last two years I’ve been here.”
Parents sometimes think diabetes means their child can’t participate in sports or ever be very successful.
Shannon Ostaszewicz, son has diabetes: “They really brought back up his confidence. He realized yeah, it doesn’t matter if I have diabetes. I still got it and I’m ok with it.”
Parents are educated right along with their children.
Olympian Chris Jarvis lives with type 1 diabetes: “I think the parents are getting a great opportunity to learn what’s normal, figure out what other people are doing and how I can take that stress off myself.
Type 1 diabetes means the pancreas stops making insulin and blood sugar levels need to be checked multiple times a day.
Alyssa Coulter: “The hardest part I think is having to take a break. If my blood sugar is not in range, then I have to stop my activity.
Elite athletes who have reached the pinnacle of sport while living with the disease are here to lend their support.
Nick Boynton is a type 1 diabetic: “I think what I can bring to them is that I was able to stay healthy, do what I love, do what I wanted to do.”
Despite all the kids here having diabetes, they are treated as athletes first, and taught there are no limits.
Nick Carriere, Dskate head coach: “No limitations what so ever, it’s just managing it.”
For more information, check the Dskate website.