Dmacc student pledges to raise $2,200 for Camp Hertko by Heidi Walters

Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. There are always challenges and struggles that we all face, some more than others.

DMACC student, David Blacksmith was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 9, and now he is trying to raise some money to give back to a Camp that helped him get through his struggles.

In an email interview, Blacksmith said, “Living with diabetes is always a challenge; physically, mentally, and emotionally. You can do everything right by the book and still be out of balance.”

Diabetes effects Blacksmith in his daily life. He has to check his blood sugar before every meal that he eats, before he drives somewhere, and before he goes to sleep. He has to check it from anywhere between six to 12 times a day.

“Whenever I eat anything I have to count how many carbohydrates are in it and calculate how many units of insulin I need for that. Before I got an insulin pump, I would have to give myself shots at every meal,” Blacksmith said.

After Blacksmith was diagnosed on January 13, 2003, he attended Camp Hertko Hollow. Camp Hertko Hollow is a summer camp that teaches and educates children on how to live long, healthy and productive lives while managing and controlling their diabetes.

Blacksmith is currently trying to raise money for the camp; his goal is $2,200. By getting this much money, it’ll help pay for two people to go to camp.

“I was one of the kids who needed help to go to camp. Most families can’t afford the $1,100 to send their child every summer. I watched so many of my friends stop coming because they couldn’t afford it. I decided I had to give back,” Blacksmith said.

Blacksmith attended the camp for eight consecutive years, and then he became eligible to be apart of the staff. He attended the camp as a staff member for two years, making a total of 10 committed years of being involved in some way.

Some of the most memorable moments from camp would be when Blacksmith and all his friends were sitting around a campfire, talking.

“I love the nights under the stars. As a camper we would sit out around a campfire and just talk. You gaze up looking at the mass of sparkles, hearing the logs crack in the fire, listening to the words of your friends. Life is perfect in that moment,” Blacksmith said.

Just recently, Blacksmith and his family were reminded that anybody could be diagnosed. June 13, of this year, Blacksmith’s little brother was diagnosed at 16 years old.

“It was crazy to see my family go through that again. Nobody wants to hear that their child has a lifelong disease, let alone hear it twice,” Blacksmith said. “Most people hear diabetes and think of their grandparents or some overweight individual but that is hardly ever the case. Anybody can be diagnosed.”

“I may have this disease, but I’m still human like you. I remember so many times as a kid being told I can’t have candy because I’m diabetic and it hurt. You eat candy; your pancreas does its job, I eat candy and I do my pancreases job. It’s as simple as that,” Blacksmith said.

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