Keara Hayter grew up with Type 1 Diabetes. For years, her family thought that her diagnosis would keep her from sleepovers, overnights and other fun adventures.
Camp Barnabas changed that.
At age 7, Keara’s mom Lesley decided to give camp a try. She signed Keara up and jumped on board as well to serve as a nurse on the Medical Team.
The experience changed their lives.
“It was incredible to see Keara be able to go with her fellow campers and not have one of us with her. I loved seeing her spend the night in a cabin with other girls and just watch her have so much fun,” says Lesley. “She got to meet other individuals with diabetes who came back year after year in the same cabin. It opened up a whole new world.”
Nine years later, Lesley is still hooked.
“Seeing the med team work together, the way they do 24/7 to get the campers to the activities. That’s amazing. And the campers, I love seeing the sparkle in their eyes when they’ve done something they’ve never done before. That’s huge,” she says.
Not only was Lesley’s life changed, so was her faith.
“I can always learn from the kids and the staff. They go through so much every day. There’s no place like Barnabas,” she says.
As for the future, Lesley plans to keep coming back as a member of the Medical Team for years to come. She invites all fellow nurses to do the same.
“Go for it. Until you’ve been there, it’s hard to explain, but it’s absolutely worth it. Go for it, let yourself fully enjoy camp and all that there is to do there.”