Snowboarder hosts camp for kids with type 1 diabetes
KALISPELL, Mont. - A Whitefish couple is hoping to help children with type 1 diabetes learn more about their disease while also learning a thing or two out on the slopes.
In 2004, professional snowboarder Sean Busby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes requires you to monitor and check your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
He considered leaving the sport altogether, but after hearing stories of younger children with type 1, he decided to continue snowboarding, and give back to those with type 1 diabetes.
So he decided to create a program called "Riding on Insulin."
"As I learned to become this professional athlete with this disease, I wanted to take what I learned and be able to use that to give back to others," said Sean Busby.
Sean met his wife Mollie back in 2010, and she's now the Executive Director of the program.
She helps organize and gather all of the kids attending the camp.
The campers head out onto the mountain where they'll be skiing and snowboarding for the day. They're paired up into groups with a counselor who themselves has type 1 diabetes, so they can help them test and check their levels while they're out on the slopes, and maybe even teach them a thing or two.
"Diabetes doesn't have to hold you back from anything in life. It doesn't have to restrict you. The only thing you need to be is more responsible, and responsibility is not a bad thing," said Mollie Busby.
The Busby's recently moved to Whitefish looking to settle down, but that doesn't mean it will slow them down from doing what they're so passionate about.
"It's really a day for the kids to feel like kids and not a person who has type 1 diabetes first. They're in an environment with others who are just like them, so it's really a natural kind of normal environment for them," said Sean Busby.
Riding on Insulin's next camp will in South Dakota at Terry Peak on January 25.
For more information on the program you can check out their website at www.ridingoninsulin.org.