The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi has a wide network of children and teens, as well as their parents. Our children's programs are designed to educate, inform, and connect parents to parents and kids to kids. These programs aim to connect families with an ongoing support system and resource network for managing the health of their child.
Explore our various programs and learn what the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi is all about!
Camp Kandu – a place where kids with diabetes ‘Kandu’ anything! Join the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi in empowering kids and making a difference in their lives!
Camp Kandu, held twice a year at the Twin Lakes Conference Center in Florence, MS, offers children with diabetes, as well as their parents, siblings, and even their friends, the opportunity to have fun while learning to take charge of diabetes. The camp is free for children with diabetes, and parents and siblings pay only a small fee. Through the generosity of others, the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi is able to host children with diabetes to Camp Kandu as well as offer scholarships to other diabetes camps.
Camp participants – parents and children alike – learn about diabetes management, including the importance of healthy meal planning, exercising regularly, and monitoring blood glucose levels.
As one of the signature services offered by the DFM, Camp Kandu gets its name from a “can-do” attitude, as that’s what gives people the ability to do anything, even those of us with diabetes. Camp Kandu seeks to inspire children to live their lives to the fullest, while remaining active and healthy. The camp’s weekend activities are testament to the children’s bustling, excited, and vivacious personalities. Participants may do anything from tie-dying T-shirts, taking karate lessons, painting pottery, hula-hoop contests, or even relay games - and that's just the tip of the iceberg!
Camp Kandu works its magic as our kids (and parents) make lasting friendships with others just like themselves. Some of our first campers and their families now act as counselors for the next generation.
Children with diabetes are just like any other children, with the exception they have to pay particular attention to their medication, eating habits, and blood sugar, and Camp Kandu emphasizes their ability to live healthy lives while making friends with other children who share similar experiences.
“Sweet Subject” is a signature program of the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi created to offer Mississippi schools and daycare facilities with the opportunity to earn Continuing Education Units (CEU) by attending a DFM school presentation.
The Sweet Subject School Diabetes Education program is free for schools and daycare centers around the state, with the goal of educating teachers and school staff to recognize and handle emergencies in the school setting and care for children with diabetes. The DFM provides the schools with an emergency box containing blood glucose testing supplies as well as information and items for treating hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia for their students. Children spend most of their time in school and/or daycare. Informing Mississippi’s school educators and daycare staff about recognizing and treating high and low blood sugar emergencies can help Mississippi’s educators save a student’s life. Understanding the complications associated with diabetes equips educators with the knowledge to reach out to students with diabetes and understand these students’ specific needs.
“In spite of it being an optional program, it was great to see that probably more than two-thirds of the school’s teachers – even the ones who aren’t in contact with Hayden – were interested in learning more about diabetes and about how to better understand their students with the disease,” said the mom of 8-year-old Hayden. “The teachers seemed better prepared and more comfortable – they learned a lot from it.”
“The program has answered many questions that we all had about diabetes and helping those with diabetes,” she said. “It went great.”
When parents, children and school staff have done their homework, children with diabetes will be able to enjoy school to the fullest without undue worry or restriction. To help implement this program at your child’s school or for more information, please call 601-957-7878.
We Care 2
“We Care 2” is a signature program of the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi that sends a DFM representative to visit a newly diagnosed child and his/her family while in the hospital. The program’s goal is to connect families with an ongoing support system and resource network for managing the health of their child.
Trained staff or volunteers visit the family in the hospital and provide both comfort and information to guide them through the months of transition into a life of healthy diabetes management. Our "Diabetes Ambassadors" often include families with children with diabetes who are now paying it forward.
The DFM provides the family with a colorful backpack filled with age-appropriate information about diabetes for the child and the parents or caregivers. Also included in the bags are books for the entire family, a blood glucose meter and extra strips, visual aids for quick identification of high and low blood glucose emergencies, nutrition information, school/daycare medical plans, and a huggable, stuffed yellow lab aptly named “Sugar.” Each of the bags is assembled individually based on the family’s specific needs and whether the child was diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Parent to Parent
The DFM provides a digital support group for parents and children with diabetes. The program’s goal is to connect families with an ongoing support system and resource network for managing the health of their child.
If you are interested in joining our Parent to Parent Facebook group, please contact Irena McClain at the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi at 601-957-7878 or contact the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi's Facebook page.