Spotlight on Delaware JDRF Kids – Grace Cochran


Diabetes Doesn’t Hold Me Back

by Grace Cochran


Hi!  I’m Grace Cochran and I am a Type 1 Diabetic.

I was diagnosed September 30, 2005, 15 days after my seventh birthday.  For the past three summers I have gone to Harrisburg Diabetic Youth Camp, HDYC for short.  It’s a week long sleep over camp and I have been going it since I was 8 years old.

There is no way to describe how fun and exciting it is.  Everyone there has diabetes so I know I am not the only one that’s different.

I have a pump instead of getting shots so it’s nice to go there and not have everyone ask what the pump is for and why I have it.

I call it my happy place because everyone is so nice and they don’t treat you differently because you have diabetes.

Because I have type 1 diabetes, I get to go to a great camp and meet new people.  Without diabetes I wouldn’t have made all these great friends.  Some people think that since they have diabetes life won’t go on, but it does.  Some of the things I do at camp are archery, soccer, kickball, creek stomping, arts & crafts, and swimming.  I also love sitting around the camp fire singing songs and roasting marshmallows.  One of the things I learned at camp is diabetes shouldn’t ever hold you back.  It should get you motivated to try new things.  I try to be a positive person.  I can even find some ways to feel lucky to have diabetes.

Another thing I did over my summer was go on a tour of the Wilmington Police Department and I had lunch with the Chief of Police. His name is Chief Szczerba and his helper is Lt. Sherri Tull.  I can’t tell you how great they are!

I got to go because my best friend, Anna and her family won it in the auction at the JDRF Hope Ball that was held this past April and we all went on the adventure together.  It was so fun because we got to see how everything works in the police department and we got to talk to them about what they do to keep us safe.  And then we saw the police dogs.  M/Cpl Frances Szczerba showed us how his dog finds bombs.  His dog is a German Shepherd and he is beautiful!

Another really cool thing I got to do was go on a police boat ride with Sr. Cpl Anthony Easterling and M/Cpl Matt Hazzard.  We even went under the Delaware Memorial Bridge!  The SWAT Team was amazing and we were able to try on their uniforms.  Sgts. Tom Looney and Chris Villaverde showed us big poles that they use to break doors down.  I could hardly lift it up!   They were all so nice and it was so much fun.  I’m so lucky to go on this trip. I’m glad they helped out JDRF and donated this experience to be auctioned off at the Hope Ball.

I’m lucky to be a part of the JDRF Delaware Branch.  I can’t wait for my mom and dad to bid on the trip to the Police Station at the 2010 Hope Ball!