Olympic Athlete Discusses Diabetes - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Olympic Athlete Discusses Diabetes

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It's the first year the American Diabetes Association is holding the weeklong camp for youngsters diagnosed with the disease. In the past, the camp only last a couple of days.

The American Diabetes Association Camp is being held in Fishtail where an Olympic athlete is teaching local diabetic children how a diagnosis for diabetes is not a death sentence.

Doctors told cross-country skier, Kris Freeman, his Olympic career was over when he was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 19. Since then, Freeman has defied the odds by competing in the last three Olympics. "I feel like kids get a lot of negative information and false information about diabetes, and when you take proper care of yourself this disease does not have to have a negative impact on your life," Freeman said.

Kris has been traveling to American Diabetes Association camps for 8 years, inspiring youngsters to overcome their diagnosis. "I just remember how crushing that first message was, and I just want to get a positive message out to these kids," Freeman said.

Meeting Freeman inspires 12-year-old Daniel Cowly to do anything. "That was a great thing. My dad and I really love skiing, as well. So, that was something really good to hear. Just like him, I'm not going to let anything stop me from doing what I want to do," Cowly said.

Daniel said interacting with others at the camp reminds him he's just a regular kid. "Oh my goodness, I just love it here. I love camp. There's just always something new that you learn, when you come here. You always have a great time and make new friends. It's the best," Daniel said.

Nearly 88 type-one diabetic kids from 8 to 17 are attending this year's camp. Camp organizers said most attendees are from Montana, but some are from as far away as Alaska.

The American Diabetes Association Camp started on Sunday and will end this Friday. Organizers say they have been holding diabetes camps in Montana since 1970.