Lilly Diabetes Goes to Camp

Attending summer camp is a rite-of-passage for many children. For children with diabetes, this carries even more significance when they can attend a camp specifically designed to foster disease management in a fun and safe environment. Diabetes camps offer a unique way to help children gain confidence to manage the disease on their own – sometimes for the first time. Jerry Mick, first heard about diabetes camps immediately following his son, Jack’s, diagnosis. After Jack attended camp, Jerry saw firsthand the tremendous impact it had on his son. They share their experiences in a video:


Trained medical staff make every moment a teaching moment at camp. Andrew Cagle, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist and medical advisor in Lilly Diabetes, has served as an on-site volunteer. He and the other medical staffers teach children important lessons, such as counting carbs and safe injection practices, side-by-side with typical camp activities such as trail hikes and campfires.

For many, the camps teach much more than disease management and camping essentials. The volunteers and fellow campers help children realize – perhaps for the first time – that they are not alone. “It’s great to know that there are lots of other people out their experiencing what you are,” said Jack.

Lilly sees the value that camps bring to children with diabetes. Since 2001, the company has donated $22.2 million in medications, 151,000 educational book packs with materials on diabetes management, $531,000 in camp scholarships, art-therapy based creative activities, and finally, opportunities for many volunteers, like Andy, who can take paid time to volunteer through the Lilly Hands and Hearts program. Lilly Diabetes has been the largest supporter of diabetes camps in the U.S. and is one more way we seek to make life better for people with diabetes beyond the medicines we make.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in learning more about diabetes camps near you, visit for a current listing or for scholarship information.