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Juvenile diabetes: Understanding its impact beyond the pancreas

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My name is Lawrence Yau and I am in my 5th year doing an Honours Specialization in Medical Sciences. My decision to pursue this degree was based on my interest in learning more about human diseases. Although I gained a lot of knowledge through my studies, it was a challenge to put a face on the diseases that I learned at school. Consequently, I started volunteering at Rotoract's Juvenile Diabetes Camp (JD Camp) three years ago. JD Camp is a weekend camp operating during the month of March and is open to both children and families affected by Type I diabetes. The camp experience offers a host of fun activities for the children and also provides many networking and educational opportunities for parents. As the food coordinator, in addition to planning and preparing meals for roughly 60 people each year, I had the opportunity to interact with both the children and their parents. Through my experiences at the camp, I gained a greater appreciation and understanding of not only the physical implication of Type I diabetes on the child but also its impact on the emotional, social, and financial well being of the entire family. I believe the challenge facing future medical research lies in improving the quality of life of patients afflicted with Type I diabetes and their families.

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