(Media release from Atrium Health Floyd):

Many of the kids at Kiki’s Kids Camp – a four-day summer camp for youth diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes – are already pros when it comes to managing their diabetes. If they are not, the camp works to make sure they all become experts.

This year’s edition of Kiki’s Kids Camp ended Thursday at Darlington School’s Huffman Athletic Center. Campers enjoyed traditional activities along with educational sessions designed to help them live healthy. Blood sugar levels were checked throughout the session to ensure their safety and to teach them how to monitor themselves when they are at home or school. Lessons also included good eating habits.

Miriam Loveless, camp director, said watching the kids learn and share is one of the reasons she keeps coming back.

“They’ll do educational presentations and it’s amazing to watch them share. It’s really moving to see them together in an atmosphere where they know they will feel accepted,” said Loveless, who is also a school counselor at East Central Elementary School in Rome.

Loveless brings a unique perspective to the camp. She was in her 40s when she discovered she has Type 1 diabetes, which usually reveals itself much earlier in life.

That was the case for 13-year-old Emily Baker of Rome, who has been attending the camp for 8 years. This year was her first as a counselor in training.

“The camp is fun, and I know I can help some of the other kids,” Emily said.

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.