Julia Blanchette

The sudden closing earlier this year of Camp Ho Mita Koda in Newbury Township, a camp dedicated to children with diabetes, was short-lived, thanks to a group of individuals.

The Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland oversaw the camp until it dissolved at the beginning of April, forcing the closure of the camp. Nine individuals, including former workers and campers, created the Camp Ho Mita Koda Foundation to form its board.

Julia Blanchette, 25, of Cleveland Heights serves as the only health care professional on the board. As someone who has diabetes and went to a diabetes camp growing up, Blanchette said it was imperative to have the camp open. 

“Before I went to diabetes camp (in Connecticut), I used to hide my insulin pump under my clothes,” she said. “As soon as I went to diabetes camp ... it was a place I could finally feel normal.” 

Blanchette, who attends Hillel at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland while studying for her Ph.D. in nursing science, had to arrange with many local hospitals to have a medical doctor available for prescriptions while camp was running. 

The camp is for children ages 5 to 15 who have diabetes. It offers day and overnight camp designed for campers to self-manage their diabetes while enjoying camp activities like swimming, archery, horseback riding, crafts and more. 

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