Charlie Gurnee's Mission to Fundraise & Advocate for Type I Diabetes

Charlie Gurnee's Mission to Fundraise & Advocate for Type I Diabetes

  • 05/2/23

We wanted to shed some light on one of the most amazing 9-year old's in the South Bay - Charlie Gurnee. Charlie, who was recently diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, is now on a mission to fundraise for kids alike to attend Camp Conrad Chinnock - A Diabetes Camping and Educational Non-profit organization. She is selling raffle tickets to fundraise costs to send other kids to camp. If you are interested in purchasing raffle tickets or donating directly, click here. Read more about Charlie and Camp Conrad below:

Charlies Story
July 22, 2022 marked one year since the terrifying day Charlie was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes and we began our journey.  She was incredibly sick; so sick that our pediatrician said we needed to rush to Children’s Hospital ER and it was so urgent we didn't have time to stop at home for a bag.  ER was expecting us and we knew it was bad when they took her back before the other kiddos waiting in the ER lobby; they immediately put her on an insulin IV drip and confirmed, she has type one diabetes.  A statement we barely understood.  We quickly realized the gravity of those words.  It has been indescribably difficult; she has shown so much strength and bravery and taught us so much. Watching her fight every day is absolutely heartbreaking and truly inspiring.  In her first 14 months living with T1D, Charlie endured 3,000 insulin shots.  She very recently graduated to an automated insulin pump which will help with her care management in a huge way.  This invisible disease affects the whole family and every day we pray for advanced technology and a cure for Charlie and the millions of people living with T1D.

When you have T1D, your body stops producing insulin—a hormone essential to turning food into energy. Managing the disease is a constant struggle that involves monitoring your blood-sugar level, administering insulin, and carefully balancing these insulin doses with your eating and activity. Even with a strict regimen, people with T1D may still experience dangerously high or low blood-glucose levels that can, in extreme cases, be life threatening.

On July 22nd, Charlie celebrated her one year "diaversary" while she was away at diabetes sleepaway camp in Big Bear, with 60 other kids living through the same struggles.  What a gift.  Camp Conrad Chinnock is incredible.... it changed her, it changed us.  She made best friends, learned so much, had a blast and never felt isolated or alone the way that Type 1 can easily make you feel.  She said she felt "at home." Charlie can't wait to return to Camp Conrad every summer.  At camp, thanks to scholarships and fundraising opportunities like this, they won't turn anyone away.  Every child living with this disease should have the opportunity to experience Camp Conrad Chinnock.

As a nonprofit organization Camp Conrad Chinnock is dedicated to helping children of all ages and their families better understand and manage their diabetes, serving over 2,500 families in the Southern California area in partnership with the region’s leading hospitals and educational institutions.  Every family they work with has a child who is faced with a lifetime of blood glucose monitoring, insulin injections or pump therapy, and constant threat of acute and chronic complications. Our programs and events such as support groups, education sessions, family retreats, and youth camping programs are designed to see that each and every child develops critical diabetes management skills to reach a new level of confidence and self-esteem.

Camp Conrad makes a profound difference in the lives of the children and families that benefit from Camp Conrad Chinnock/Diabetes Camping and Educational Services. Our goal is that every Los Angeles family affected by this disease can experience camp and all that it has to offer!

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