One of the best reasons to take a winter recess staycation is the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center’s Winter Fun program, an annual event that recently welcomed 18 teenagers with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for a weeklong whirlwind of empowering activities.
This year, the Winter Fun event included trips to Materials for the Arts on Long Island (“NY’s premier reuse center”) where the teens created wearable art with recycled materials and Chelsea Piers for an afternoon of bowling, arcade games and laser tag. The kids also saw a matinee of the super-hero hit Black Panther, had a morning of improvisational theater (where they acted out various life situations) and created a yearbook, where each teen was responsible for a page of his or her own.
In addition to the annual lab tour led by Co-Director Dr. Rudy Leibel (this year the teens got a look at beta cells under microscopes) they had an opportunity to ask Dr. Barney Softness anything they wanted to, in a new Winter Fun feature called “Ask the Doctor.” “We try to make it special each time, by going an extra mile each year,” summed up Kindra Matthews, the Berrie Center’s Pediatric Coordinator who helped plan this year’s event. “The kids had a beautiful time.”
The lucky participants were recommended by their caregivers to attend this year’s program. “Some kids might need a little more support socially, or would really benefit from the shared experience of being with other teenagers with T1D,” said Dr. Natasha Leibel, head of Pediatrics at the Berrie Center.
A special thanks, to Kindra and Cara Lampron, Coordinator of the therapeutic art program at the Berrie Center, who conceptualized and executed the amazing week. Added Dr. Robin Goland, Co-Director of the Berrie Center, “The amount of work that goes into planning and executing these activities is remarkable! From coordinating fun, interesting, and safe events, to thinking of ways to educate our patients and encourage them to trust each other—those involved in Winter Fun thought of everything. Thank you to everyone who re-arranged their schedules to supervise the activities, and thank you also to everyone else who covered for them and cared for our patients.
Enjoy the Winter Fun pictures by photographer Susan Cook.