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Welcome to Arianna's Fundraising Page!
Please continue to donate on this page for Campo Amigo Dominicano 2017!
You can view photos of my trip here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskED7Lqm !
As of July 6th, 2016, I have officially completed my first year as a volunteer with AYUDA's Campo Amigo program! These past 3 weeks have been extremely rewarding for me as a person with type 1 diabetes, seeing how people manage their diabetes differently in the Dominican Republic than we do in the United States. The first few days in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, we bonded with our fellow AYUDA volunteers and the volunteers and staff of Aprendiendo a Vivir, and we learned the camp protocol for checking blood glucose, administering insulin, and treating hypoglycemias. We then broke into our groups for camp, and I was placed with Grupo Amarillo (Yellow group), where the campers were 13 and older.
Planning for our first camp event, Dia de la Familia, began the first week as well, where the goal was to teach campers about their diabetes through interactive activities that got their parents and siblings involved. The second week, we got to visit the local hospital and the homes of some people with diabetes in provinces outside of Santo Domingo, and we began to plan for our two day camp, Campo Amigo. Campo Amigo was more focus on recently diagnosed campers and teaching them about diabetes at a more basic and personal level, rather than including the entire family.
These past three weeks have been incredibly life changing for me, and I am very glad I was able to participate in the program and see the results of our hard work in the lives of our campers. I hope to return to AYUDA next year, so please continue to donate on this page!
My name is Arianna Tuomey and this summer, I will embark on a life-changing experience in the Dominican Republic (DR) as a volunteer for American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad (AYUDA). Together with AYUDA's in-country partner organization, Aprendiendo a Vivir (AAV - "learning to live") and my fellow volunteers, we will organize diabetes education initiatives for young people living with diabetes. These initiatives include "Campo Amigo Dominicano," a diabetes education camp for young people living with diabetes, and participating in outreach activities such as hospital & home visits.
What is AYUDA?
AYUDA is a non-profit volunteer organization that empowers youth to serve as agents of change in diabetes communities around the world. AYUDA is dedicated to supporting local diabetes communities in their development and implementation of sustainable and global diabetes programs. AYUDA’s innovative peer learning model uses international volunteers as catalysts for empowering local youth living with diabetes to live happy and healthy lives.
For more information about AYUDA and its important work, please visit their website. (www.ayudainc.net)
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a genetic disease characterized by a loss of insulin production in the body. Unlike type 2 diabetes, there is no correlation between type 1 diabetes and obesity. Currently, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, but it can be well-managed with the proper medication (insulin) and tools (glucometer, continuous glucose monitor, etc.). Many people in the Dominican Republic don't have access to these resources, and their diabetes can be life-threatening as a result. This is why our program is so essential to these communities.
Why Did I Join AYUDA?
I decided to volunteer with AYUDA because I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes one year ago during finals week in my second year of college. Since then, I have searched for ways to connect with the diabetes community. I have thus far connected with this community by starting a chapter College Diabetes Network at my school, the University of California San Diego. This chapter allowed me to relate to people my age who have diabetes for the first time, and inspired me to get even more involved. With my chapter of the College Diabetes Network, I hosted an AYUDA information session at UCSD where an AYUDA representative and former volunteer came and told us everything about the organization and their mission.
After traveling to Cusco, Peru last summer as part of a medical outreach volunteer program, I saw just how different medical care is in other parts of the world from what I grew up with. Though that trip wasn't diabetes oriented, coupling this experience with my recent diagnosis led me to imagine what my life would be like if I had been born in Peru or any of the many other countries that don't have a solid understanding of what diabetes is and how to manage it. Would I have the same easy access to insulin, test strips, and a continuous glucose monitor as I do now?
The AYUDA presentation at UCSD inspired me to ask myself these questions again, and I realized that applying to AYUDA would allow me to help children and their parents see that you can a live long, healthy life with Type 1 diabetes if you are given the knowledge and tools necessary to manage it. I applied to the Campo Amigo program because I identified with AYUDA's mission, and its guiding principles: a lack of education is just as dangerous as a lack of insulin, youth can serve as powerful agents of change, and understanding is just as important as doing.
You can learn more about my story here: http://diabetesstopshere.org/2016/01/14/diabetes-in-college-arianna/ .
How YOU can help!
AYUDA endeavors to remain a grassroots volunteer organization in a unique way: by asking its volunteers to participate in fundraising for their programs. In fact, without fundraising by volunteers like me, AYUDA’s in-country work would not be possible.
I will be traveling to the Dominican Republic in June, but my journey begins today! I need to reach my fundraising goal by June 10th. Please support me in this important goal by making a contribution. A tax-deductible donation online makes supporting AYUDA quick and easy. You can also send your contribution to the address listed below.
To mail in a donation, please, make all checks payable to: AYUDA Inc. and please put "Arianna Tuomey" in the Memo field.
1700 N Moore St, Suite 2000
Arlington VA 22209
Your tax-deductible gift makes a difference. Your support will ensure that local diabetes programs will continue to thrive and that young people in these communities will have access to education and tools that will help them live happier, healthier lives with diabetes. Whatever you can give will help - it all adds up!
I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress. To follow my progress, please visit my blog: www.ariannaayuda.tumblr.com.
Thank you for your time and generosity,
¡Juntos Somos Más Fuertes!
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