Camp de L'amitie Community
A few months ago, I was sorting through countless emails sitting in my inbox and I came across a “last call for volunteers” email from AYUDA for their 2015 summer programs. I hadrecently moved to Washington D.C. and I was looking for a way to give back. I had previously heard about AYUDA through my endocrinologist and I figured I would give it a try, so I applied.
I was so happy to receive the acceptance email from AYUDA shortly thereafter. I was excited to have a trip to look forward to with a wonderful cause that touched me personally and gave me an opportunity to brush up on my other languages. I knew this trip would have a positive impact on my life, but until I attended the Volunteer Training Program Summit (VTP Summit) in DC a few weeks ago, I didn’t realize how much this trip could change me.
I have been living with diabetes for 13 years. I have never attended a diabetes camp, and other than a few volunteer experiences with JDRF, I have never really connected with the community. I was a little nervous entering the VTP Summit in early March, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Over the course of the weekend, we heard inspiring stories from different individuals who has been directly impacted by the work AYUDA does. By Sunday afternoon, I felt like a completely different person. I had learned so much from that weekend about living with diabetes in other countries, about AYUDA’s roots, and about myself. It felt so great to be in a room of people that shared the same struggles, same frustrations, and faced the same obstacles I had.
The following week I had an appointment with my endocrinologist and I was feeling great. Using the excitement and passion I had gained from the VTP Summit, I was ready to step up the care of my diabetes and keep propelling myself forward.
I thought I was signing up for a wonderful volunteer experience with a unique travel opportunity, but now it is clear that this experience with AYUDA will be a life-altering trip for me.
Camp de L'amitie!
Camp de L'amitie Youth Leaders