Staff, volunteers & camper testimonials

“Spending my summer at Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma has been the most rewarding experience.

Today I cried sad tears because camp is over for the summer. But today I cried so many happy tears. Camp Endres teaches these kids about life, self care, strength and confidence and unconditional love. I've never known something more special than a place that can make the most abnormal inconvenience, the most normal commonality that these kiddos share.

I'm so unbelievably thankful for a place that shines a positive and encouraging light on life's dark and unfortunate circumstances. Having diabetes is honestly a blessing because without it I wouldn't know these incredible humans that help me understand life and love.

Thank you Camp Endres for a summer of joy, giggles, lessons, songs, snacks and friends!!!”

Caroline Kemp, PWD, DSOK Summer Intern 2018

“My favorite thing about camp is the people there. To me, camp isn’t a place, the people are the camp. Without the amazing family that we have formed, I would not be at the place in my life that I am now. Camp Endres has been a life saver for me.

I cannot begin to describe the number of times my camp family has helped me through a difficult time, whether they have known it or not. The message behind camp is also incredibly important to me. I love that this camp is all about teaching us that having diabetes isn’t something to be ashamed of. Everyone at camp encourages you to see the goodness in diabetes whenever you can, while still being able to empathize with you about how terrible it is. You never feel alone, because you know that everyone there shares your feelings.

However, at the end of the day, you can’t help but be thankful for this disease in some weird way because of the incredible things it has given you. I love how carefree and comfortable I feel at camp. I am never more confident and sure of myself than the first week of July with my camp family.

Worries cast aside, when at camp, I never worry about giving insulin, checking blood sugars or changing my pump site – it is second nature for everyone there; not something to be annoyed by or embarrassed by like these things can be in regular life. It is one of the few places I feel at ease about having T1D. I never feel as if I am leaving my home when we drive to Camp Endres; I feel like I’m coming home.”

Maddy Stone, age 16

“My daughter, Ryan Elizabeth Quintanilla, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes July 28, 2015 at the age of 8.  Her world, as well as her families, has been different ever since. These days we have found a “new” normal and although diabetes tries to dominate our lives, we refuse to let it.

This change in behavior didn’t happen over night or without the help offered by DSOK. If we had/have questions, frustrations, need adjustments, DSOK is a phone call away.  We ALWAYS receive care and the best help.  DSOK loves their type 1 kiddo’s and families.  You need only to speak with them for a second to feel the love.

My daughter has attended the day camp, Camp NoHiLo, since diagnosis. Being able to be around other T1D kids was/is a complete boost of confidence. She was just like everyone else.  It made the daily grind of diabetes management more bearable knowing all these kids go home and do the same things she does.

When Ryan completed the 4th grade she was old enough to go to Camp Endres. This is a week long camp.  Ryan, not only has diabetes, she is my youngest child and out of all her siblings, her and I are joined at the hip. We do everything together. She was so scared to leave me but equally excited to go to camp.  I felt the same. DSOK is there with them the entire week. NO child is ever left to manage T1D alone. This is true of Camp NoHiLo and Camp Endres.

Parents, we need a break. Our kids need to figure this disease out independent of us. The thought of Ryan growing up with T1D and leaving home is terrifying.  We have such a small amount of time to prepare them to “leave the nest”. DSOK is here to help us and to help train our children to live life to the fullest without letting T1D hold them back. We are so privileged to have an organization like DSOK to support and love us like we are true members of a unique family. Please contact them today and make your life better.”

Susan Quintanilla

“Kim Boaz has been an inspiration to me in my life with diabetes. When I was a teenager, she taught me how to use my first pump and how to really become independent with my diabetes management. Her empowering attitude was revolutionary to me as a 15 year old! I especially respected her because she had T1D like me.

Now that I’m an adult, I still look up to her! Her passion and compassion have impacted the lives of so many. Kim and Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma serve the T1D community in Oklahoma City through education, camps, award ceremonies, family events, and more. And Kim always has a smile for you, even when it’s been a while since you’ve seen her!

Thank you, Kim and Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma!”

Katie Aldridge

“I remember the day like it was yesterday, although it was July 28, 2002 – that’s the date I received my first “camp letter.”  I had dropped off my nine year old in Davis, OK, three hours from our home, and my insides were overstimulated from conflicting emotions: fear, sadness, joy, anxiety, and freedom. Yes, freedom, and it’s complicated.

Natalie had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 4. I’ll spare the horrendous details. Every parent has their story, and mine is likely not much different than others. But as a group, our stories are vastly altered from those of our acquaintances. We have a new reality – a new norm, that only another parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes can understand. As fearful as I would have felt traveling that road alone, looking back, I can’t even imagine how my precious Natalie would have coped without what would become “her people.”  They just clicked – her fellow campers, counselors, and staff she came to love as family over her 21 year journey.

I wholeheartedly believe that her yearly camp experience helped to mold her into the confident successful young woman she is today. She built a network of relationships that have blossomed over 20+ years. Her people just simply understood–something her dad and I longed for. We owe a debt of gratitude to an organization that filled that gap.

Natalie grew from a little camper who didn’t speak for the entire three hour ride home EVERY YEAR (yea, fun times) because, “I want to live at camp forever,” into an adult whose mission is to reach out to every child, and touch their lives as so many did for her. She returns every year to where it all started.

Now, about that “freedom” statement–a sleepover, play dates, church camp, birthday parties, competitive sports, you name it, all activities the “normal” parent can take for granted, prove challenging for us. The only time I felt confident that my baby was cared for both physically and emotionally occurred in July. For one week. As Natalie was developing her independence, I was relearning the meaning of freedom; not freedom from Natalie, but freedom from worry.

I cherished and saved every letter. Enjoy!”

Cheryl Bayne