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    Routine and Activities – Coping with Anxiety

    An inspiring story…

    One of my neighbours (a retired teacher) shared a story with our street about the last time she remembers schools in NZ closing. It was from November 1947 until May 1948, during the polio outbreak. All education correspondence was done via the radio, with lessons for each subject and age group broadcast live each day. The postman would deliver the week’s homework and collect work completed. She remembers this as a short period in her life during which everyone pulled together and got through – much as we are doing today!



    Advice on how to manage worry and anxiety in children and adults with diabetes.

    Dr Jo McClintock, Clinical Psychologist, has prepared these two handouts on coping with worry and anxiety.




    Routine and Activities.

    Routines give children a sense of safety and security. With the normal routines of school gone for the moment, establishing your own new family routines can help everyone to feel calm and able to cope.

    Diabetes also loves routine. Blood sugars can be a little more predictable if your child’s activity levels are similar amounts and times each day. Over the next few days you might find your child’s blood sugar levels different to normal as they are no longer in their normal school routine. Don’t worry, a day or too of high blood sugars does not mean poor control. Just observe and keep notes so you can respond to patterns.

    A routine does not mean planning something to do every minute of the day, but might include a time of the day when you all do some exercise together: a walk, or a game of tag – ask your kids about the games they know, or some backyard soccer, put on some music to dance to or find a jump jam video on YouTube. It might also include a time of the day when you all do some work or study and maybe a time of the day for a fun activity like a board game, some craft, a computer game challenge, a jigsaw or science experiment.

    Just as much as we all like routine, we also all like something to look forward to! At the moment there have been lots of holidays, trips and planned activities that have been cancelled or postponed. Think of some fun things that your family can put into the calendar and have to look forward to. Maybe plan a family movie night on the couch, a karaoke night in the lounge, a charades evening, a special dinner at home or a board game challenge. Something to look forward to.



    Rainbows and teddy bears!

    You may have seen this idea on social media – put a picture of a rainbow or a teddy bear in a window that is visible to the street, so that when families are out for a walk, children can have fun watching out for them!

    Jerry the Bear might like to watch the street for a few weeks!

    Zac is Running for Diabetes Youth Auckland!

    Zac has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes for nearly 8 years. Exercise is a key component to living a healthy balanced lifestyle with Type 1.

    Entering the ASB kids Marathon for the first time has been great motivation to build in regular exercise prior to race day. It has been a positive way for Zac to give back to a cause that does so much for others.

    As a family not wanting to feel burdened by his medical condition we want to stand up and make a difference. Running with purpose is all the more rewarding when supporting Diabetes NZ (Auckland Branch) which is close to our hearts.

    Living with Type 1 means additional preparation before Zac runs. He always needs to check his blood sugars and have extra carb’s before exercise. For safety Zac needs to always have glucose tablets onboard in case his blood sugar drops rapidly.

    He’s well through the goal of running the 40km prior to race day and we trust this event inspires other T1 kids to get involved.

    Recently Zac competed in The Bays cross country with a solid 16th place between the 10 schools. This inspired him to keep pushing for more.

    Type 1 is quite often an invisible condition that we support to ensure Zac has the opportunities of other kids around him. With parents who both exercise regularly this has inspired him to get involved.

    Fundraising for Diabetes NZ has been humbling with friends and family getting behind Zac’s running. With a mix of social media we’ve lent on our friends and family for their support. This has allowed us to also share his journey.

    With screen time so prevalent, encouraging your kids to exercise has so many positive benefits. This is something we love to encourage for Zac.

    Living Every Day Brave – Summer camp 2020, for kids aged 9-11yrs

    Here’s what one of the kids from a previous camp had to say about how much fun she had at camp and to encourage other kids to give camp a go!

    “Hi my name is Grace and this was my first Summer Camp. I was really nervous because I didn’t know anybody and I didn’t want to go, but once I got there I soon made friends. I’m really not an outside person but I LOVED CANOEING. I wasn’t so sure about abseiling and the crates as I’m not a fan of heights but I gave them a go anyway and felt really good about it. Another great thing about camp was learning to do my own injections. I am a needle phobe and I was adamant I wasn’t going to do them myself but the nurses were so encouraging that I managed to do it. I was so happy and so were my parents.”

    We would love all of you kids out there with type 1 diabetes to give camp a go and come along for a fantastic four days of fun at YMCA Shakespear Lodge!


    1. Click here to read the camp information and details on how to apply
    2. Click here to fill out the Diabetes Youth Auckland registration form
    3. Click here to fill out the YMCA Shakespear health & safety form
    4. Post your Carer Support form to Natalie Hanna at Diabetes Youth Auckland, PO Box 13578, Onehunga, 1643


    Applications in by 11 Nov

    Notification of whether application successful by 17 Nov

    Final Payment by 30 Nov

    Carer support forms by 13 Dec

    Under 6s at the YMCA Ellerslie

    “My child has never met another kid with Type 1 Diabetes before.”

    That was the recurring theme from the Under 6s catch up. How amazing for the kids to discover that other children had to do finger pricks and check blood sugars too. We did a group blood sugar check at the start before we let the kids loose on all the fun play equipment. Not only were there lots of kids with Type 1 diabetes, but Emma and Jess, two of the youth leaders, and one of the mums also had Type 1!

    “Is this the bouncy castle party?”

    There was lots of excitement to discover all the fun activities! Kids played and parents chatted and lots of new friendships were made. After about an hour, we paused for afternoon tea: ice cream, popcorn, chips, strawberries, watermelon, cheese and carrot sticks! There was some carb counting practice from the older children, 8+4=? Then it was back for more play!

    Finally, (when they turned the lights out), it was time to tidy up – thanks to all the parents who helped out with dishes and clean up!

    Hope to see you all at another event soon!

    Riding on Insulin

    Two days of skiing and snowboarding on the Snowplanet slopes with Riding on Insulin, direct from the USA! What a great way to spend a weekend. There were groups of beginners and groups of practised riders. On the Saturday night we had the largest Teen event in 8 years of NZ Riding on Insulin events and the Sunday all ages event was fully booked! The kids enjoyed catching up with old friends and making new friends. There were plenty of spontaneous snow fights and some snow tubing as well as plenty of skiing and snow boarding. Emma Twentyman who volunteers for DYA (Diabetes Youth Auckland) celebrated her eighth Riding on Insulin event by becoming a Youth Volunteer!

    Lucie (14yrs) says, “I loved being in a Diabetes and Coeliac friendly atmosphere and being able to practise a sport I don’t do very often.    

    It was great I could bring my cousin and hanging out with teens all facing the same challenges was special. Thanks ROI, I hope I can do this again next year! ”

    Steel Magnolias

    Thanks to everyone who came out and supported Diabetes Youth Auckland at our special fundraising evening of the play Steel Magnolias by Company Theatre. The cast reported that we were a great audience with quite a different energy to other nights as we all understood the pivotal diabetes themed scenes. It was a wonderful evening out, with a great performance and a lovely chance to catch up with our diabetes community!

    Want to know the inside story about what it’s really like to sleepover at Kelly Tarlton’s?

    Read on to hear what Eden, age 9, thought…

    The sky was getting dark and all I could hear was the wind whistling outside the car.  The closer we got to Kelly Tarltons, the more excited and nervous I started to feel.

    When I jumped out of the car, that’s when the rain & wind hit me. I started to regret coming here because what if it was this cold inside?

    All that regret disappeared when I walked inside and with my mum, dad and sister – and we were met with a room full of other parents and children!

    There were some kids my age, some older and some younger.

    I was so excited because I was in a room full of kids and I wasn’t the only one with Type 1 diabetes.  This was the first time ever that I have experienced this since I got diagnosed in September last year.

    I’m finally not alone

    There were other kids just like me, doing finger pricks, having insulin injections and counting carbs at supper & the next morning at breakfast.

    I had the best time meeting the other kids and learning more who Kelly Tarlton’s was & about different types of fish, stingrays, sharks & penguins.  The penguins were my favourite-  they were so cute.

    We were lucky because we were also able to feed the fish too.

    When it was time to go to sleep and we laid out our sleeping mats, we were next to the fish tank with ‘Nemo’ & ‘Dory’ – that was so cool. I took some good pictures (with the flash off of course)

    My little sister and I had a great sleep even though my mum & dad looked really tired in the morning

    I was sad to leave in the morning. I was having so much fun and wanted to stay longer.
    Thank you to Diabetes Youth Auckland & Kelly Tarltons for this cool experience. I learnt a lot and made new friends.  I had a great time and will remember this for a long time

    I believe my parents now when they say that I’m not alone…because I’m really not



    My Experience at Teen Camp 2019 – Emma Twentyman

    I was anxious yet eager, nervous yet calm, but more than anything I was excited for the next three days. I was ready. Ready to make new friends, try different things and learn more about my diabetes. I was diagnosed 10 years ago this year and I am still learning every day.

    Ice breaking activities helped me talk to those I was about to spend the next half of my week with. Once we got talking we got to know those around us, and by the time we got to Muriwai, we all had at least one friend.

    It wasn’t the best start to camp, it had been raining and was damp. After encountering some ‘humongous’ spiders, and many wasps, we got straight into the activities. We did four activities with Bigfoot during the day and a quiz night and ‘diabetium’ a diabetes version of the game cranium in the evening. We tested our own skills and encouraged others in our group as they faced their fears, giving them guidance to scale a rock wall blind folded (feel the blue). Diabetium was a diabetes version of cranium, we were running round camp, in new groups of 4 completing challenges, sculptures, charades and questions about diabetes, medicine and the technology including closed loop systems. It was a fun learning experience.

    The next day was a busy day, travelling to see the gannet colony, and into the forest for mountain biking (with Bigfoot) and Tree Adventures. Plus an awesome surprise at lunch time, when the film crew arrived to give Andrew his award. It was super windy at Muriwai Beach, it felt like we were getting slapped in the face. It was nice to see the Gannets, definitely worth being slapped by the wind. Next stop, Woodhill Forest. I was super excited to do Tree Adventures, being 10-14+ meters high in the air, my only lifeline two wires. I was enjoying every moment of it. Sadly, I was unable to mountain bike because of foot injuries, but I got another go up in the trees. Zip lining back to the ground always felt like an accomplishment, knowing I had just completed the course, it was thrilling. That night we did a Q&A, anyone could ask an anonymous question. We sat together and those who had an answer to the question or an idea were allowed to say it; Johnny a Bigfoot instructor even sat through so he could learn about T1D.

    The third and final day we did two activities with Bigfoot, a pancake race and kayaking then we were on our way home via Parakai hot pools and McDonalds/ Burgerfuel. We packed and cleaned, moving our bags to the hall. We were split into two groups, one off to kayaking and one stayed at camp to do the Pancake race, which was a a competition to make pancakes, that were judged on our presentation, taste and carb counting. Afterwards, we got to eat our pancakes and get ready to go kayaking. Kayaking was fun, it was full of different games, we even made a chariot, one person would stand up the front of two kayaks, the other would sit on the middle of one of the paddles (over the water – no kayak to save you from the water) it was a blast, and we had a lot of laughs.

    When we arrived at Parakai, everyone rushed off and got into their togs and into the pools, 40°c indoors and 30°c outdoors, it was heaven especially as the weather turned sour again. We had so much fun, in the pools and in the waterslides. Back in the bus, off for dinner, Burgerfuel or McDonalds, we talked over our food and then back to the bus for the last journey back to Diabetes Youth Auckland, we talked the whole bus ride and were all sad to say our goodbyes.

    I knew some of the Bigfoot team as I am completing the Duke of Edinburgh Award. It is an award program which requires the participant to complete 4 activities, one of two Adventurous Journeys – tramps, or any other expedition and exploration- a preparation and training for these journeys and a skill (learn something new), a service (volunteer work) and physical recreation (fitness, with an end goal) for my bronze, I had to complete two of the service, physical and skill for 13 hours (1 hour a week) and one of those three for 26 hours, in silver and gold each of these three activities have to be completed for 26 hours. I am looking to complete all three levels of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, I have my bronze and I am working on my silver. I am hoping to complete my Gold Adventurous Journeys as a Snowboarding expedition, in Alaska with my friend Sean, the founder of Riding on Insulin. Riding on Insulin is a non-profit organisation set up to help diabetic kids with managing their diabetes in a different climate. Based in the US, Riding on Insulin run day camps all over the US and two camps in NZ nearly every year. I love going to Riding on Insulin camps, meeting new people as well as learning a new sport/ skill.

    I am looking forward to snowboarding at a Riding on Insulin camp later this year. I plan to volunteer at both Riding on Insulin and camps or events put on by Diabetes Youth Auckland, I am looking to complete my Duke of Edinburgh Award, volunteer hours using this time, while I am helping other diabetic kids and teens have all sort of great experiences at camps, as I have.

    I prove to myself everyday that I can do anything I set my mind to, and T1D is just a part of who I am, and I won’t let it hold me back.

    Family Camp 2019 – Making Connections!

    Family Camp was beautifully summed up in the words of a nine-year-old camper,That was the best weekend of my life! 

     DSC06755 (1)

    The weekend started with the usual Auckland traffic jam on the motorway, and with daylight savings having ended, most people arrived in the dark. Everyone was in good spirits though and we launched right into activities with the adults meeting for an open forum chaired by Grace Harris, Diabetes Nurse Specialist. Everyone contributed and it was a chance to get to know each other and to share and learn from each other.  


    The kids meanwhile, were being entertained by Andrew and Carla, ably assisted by Alex, Hayley and Sam. Smoothie making sounds pretty yum, right? No, not when you put Andrew and Carla in charge of the ingredient list! Yes, there were delicious items to put in, like bananas and berries, but there was also tuna, barbecue sauce, peanut butter and crackers! The catch was that if you got the diabetes based question right, you got to choose whether the ingredient went into your smoothie or into the other team’s one.  At the end, everyone had to sample their team’s smoothie – but with some subtle encouraging from Hayley, the kids all made Andrew drink both! 


    Saturday morning started off with the hills outside covered in a fine mist, making Shakespear Regional Park feel a million miles from Auckland city. The adults had a mini conference morning, with some fabulous speakers lined up. Lotte Williams from Starshipspoke on Diabetes Burnout; Fiona Cloete from Mediraytalked aboutthe new apps from Freestyle Libre; Chantal Summerton from Intermedexplained the Medtronic pump and Tim Gunn from Nightscoutgot us all excited about DIY technology solutions. Thank you to Mediray and Intermed for generously sponsoring the Education Morning.  


    The kids were straight into activities, with three groups led by the YMCA instructors and helped by the DYA volunteers. Kids and parents got to check in at morning tea, then it was back into activities! The kids’ activities included kayaking, archery, UHF radios, rock wall climbing, mountain boarding and initiative exercises. Archery was really popular, by the end everyone had successfully shot something, with more arrows ending up in targets than in walls or ceilings – some even managed to shoot and pop balloons pinned to the targets! 


    Kayaking in the beautiful bay was loads of fun, with everyone getting competitive during the games and then being awed by the trip to the shipwreck. The kids also loved climbing; using UHF radios to play games and mountain boarding – it’s a bit like a cross between skateboarding and snowboarding! 


    After lunch the adults signed up for activities too, and enjoyed some mountain biking, archery, kayaking and catapult building. The adults enjoyed the activities as an opportunity to get to know one another and also a chance for some time out without having to worry about their Type 1 child. The kids meanwhile, were busy making friends and enjoying some freedom in a safe environment. Thank you to Trilian Trust for the grant to pay for our outdoor activities! 


    Saturday night was the chance for those daring enough to do a Burma Trail – who knew there were rattlesnakes in Auckland? Luckily everyone made it back alive and was able to take part in more activities on Sunday morning.  


    We finished with lunch on Sunday, and after a fabulous weekend of Family Camp, a tired but happy group of campers packed up and headed off home. 

    Family Camp Education Morning


    Come along just to the Education Portion of our Family Camp!

    A Type 1 Diabetes Education Morning with speakers from leading pharmaceutical companies Intermed and Mediray, and experts from Starship Hospital and Nightscout NZ. Topics covered include insulin pumps and glucose monitoring, diabetes burnout and latest technological advances in DIY diabetes management.

    Adults only (sorry no kids)

    Please arrive at 8:45am for a 9am start.

    Youth Donations

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