INDIANAPOLIS, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
- #T1DiabetesChamp Kris Freeman @TeamFreeBirdXC visits 10 #diabetes #camps; has helped inspire more than 6,500 campers through Lilly program
- Lilly is one of the largest supporters of #diabetes #camps in the US
- Lilly Diabetes releases new Kris Freeman video; he reveals diabetes struggles, chase for Olympic gold and the spirit of a #T1DiabetesChamp
- @TeamFreeBirdXC prepares for his 4th Olympics with T1 #diabetes #Sochi #olympicinspiration
When diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 19, Kris Freeman was told that his dream of being an Olympic athlete was not possible. Since then, he has transformed himself into one of the premier cross-country skiers in U.S. history.
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This year, his unstoppable spirit will again be on display at 10 diabetes camps across the country in conjunction with the Lilly Camp Care Package program, one of the largest support initiatives for diabetes summer camps in the United States. To help share Freeman's story and to kick off the 9th year of the camp tour, a documentary-style video is now available showcasing Freeman's perseverance and health challenges as he aims for gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
"I've come a long way since I was diagnosed, and I want my story to help encourage young people to find that same motivation to keep learning and to stay positive," said Freeman, who recently captured his fifth national title in the grueling 50K, the third consecutive time he captured the crown. "As I prepare for my next Winter Games and pursue my dream, it's my goal to make sure that each child I meet this summer feels my belief in them and their ability to pursue theirs."
Camps Aim to Instill Confidence and Support Long-term Success
Diabetes camps offer unique experiences to children in a traditional camp setting. Campers learn critical diabetes self-management skills, and many find camaraderie in the shared experiences of fellow campers.
"Having Kris Freeman at our American Diabetes Association Triangle D Camp in Illinois last summer was amazing," said Sue Apsey, associate director, mission delivery, American Diabetes Association. "Children, ages 9 through 13, attend this program and were able to not only meet Kris, but also talk and play with him. He told them his personal story and gave it to them straightthe good and the badwhich can make such a difference in connecting with and inspiring children with diabetes."
"It's easy to see how much Kris is moved by his visits, but what's amazing is that our campers get to seethrough himwhat they might be capable of in their own lives. That kind of inspiration is priceless. I know we're all rooting for him to bring home the gold in February."
On the Come-back Trail
For Freeman, the road to Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, is more than just a chance to compete. It's a road to possible redemption and perhaps his last best chance for an Olympic medal.
At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Freeman collapsed on the course during the 30K pursuit due to a low blood sugar event. His chance for a medal quickly slipped away. For him, getting up and finishing regardless of the result (he placed 45th) was the only possible alternative.
"I knew there were people with diabetes watching that day, so part of my motivation to get up and finish was for them," Freeman said. "I've worked hard since then, and I'm ready to put into action everything I've learned after four additional years of racing and studying how my body can best perform with diabetes. I'm prepared, and I'm so thankful I'll have all the children I've met over the years, Lilly and the diabetes community behind me once again."
Comprehensive Support Since 2001
Lilly has a 13-year history of supporting diabetes camps, including donating nearly half a million in scholarships since 2006. The company also provides volunteers, educational programs and resources, diabetes medications and supplies, and motivational speaker opportunities through the comprehensive Camp Care Package program.
"Lilly Diabetes believes that attending a diabetes summer camp is an important milestone for children learning to live fully with diabetes," said Kevin Donahoe, insulin brand director, Lilly Diabetes. "Our deep commitment to supporting diabetes summer camps is one of our most cherished pledges and is one of the best ways we can help meet the everyday needs of families and children with type 1 diabetes."
Freeman's 2013 summer diabetes camp tour begins June 18 in Caribou, Maine, and runs through July 30. He will also make an appearance at the annual Children with Diabetes® Friends for Life® conference in Orlando in July. For more information about Freeman's work with Lilly Diabetes, or for information about other Lilly Diabetes support programs, please visit www.lillydiabetes.com.
For information about diabetes camps in your area, visit www.diabetescamps.org.
Kris Freeman's Upcoming Schedule
Camp Adventure--Caribou, Maine, June 18
Camp Surefire--West Greenwich, R.I., June 25
Camp Rainbow--Pinehurst, Texas, June 26
Camp Lo-Be-Gon--Tulsa, Okla., July 1
Camp for Kids--Torreon, N.M., July 2
Friends for Life Conference--Orlando, Fla., July 10-11, 2013
Camp Jack--Rehoboth, Mass., July 12
FCYD Camp UTADA--Huntsville, Utah, July 14
Camp Kudos--Fort Mill, S.C., July 21
Camp Montana--Fishtail, Mont., July 23
Camp Hamwi--Danville, Ohio, July 30
Winter Olympics--Sochi, Russia, February 7-23, 2014
About Lilly Diabetes
Lilly has been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923, when we introduced the world's first commercial insulin. Today we work to meet the diverse needs of people with diabetes through research and collaboration, a broad and growing product portfolio and a continued commitment to providing real solutionsfrom medicines to support programs and moreto make lives better. For more information, visit www.lillydiabetes.com.
About Eli Lilly and Company(NYSE: LLY)
Eli Lilly and Company, a leading innovation-driven company, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answersthrough medicines and informationfor some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com.
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