Ian Faulds was 12-years old when he attended Camp Huronda for the first time. It was an experience, he says, that dramatically changed his life forever.
In a sense, Faulds is now cycling it forward. Fifty years after he first attended Camp Huronda, Faulds is cycling across Canada to raise awareness and money in support of children with Type 1 diabetes.
To that end, Faulds planned a six-summer journey that is taking him across Canada to each of the 13 camps in the country that support campers with diabetes. This is summer number four in his journey and involves a 1,600 km cycle through Ontario, starting in Thunder Bay and ending in Ottawa.
The Huntsville stop is particularly emotional for Faulds because Camp Huronda had a huge impact on his life.
“I fell in love with all the friends I met; life-long friends,” Faulds said of Huronda. “I learned how to play guitar. I learned how to canoe. I fell in love with the whole Huntsville area, Algonquin Park. Fundamentally, it gave me the confidence to manage my condition – Type 1 diabetes – and essentially become the person I was meant to become.”
Faulds, who is a school teacher, gives up a good chunk of his summer vacation and family time because he believes camp for kids, especially kids learning to cope with diabetes, is really important.
“This adventure is about raising funds to help those children whose families might not be able to afford the opportunity to go to a diabetes camp,” Faulds said. “It will help families ensure that their children have a chance to go because it makes an enormous difference, meeting other children who have the same condition you have. You realize that you are not alone. You build confidence.”
An important part of the journey for Faulds is visiting the camps while they are in session. Faulds has a message he passes on to the young campers: “I explain that it’s [having diabetes]who you are. You need to learn about it and take care of it. You have to accept it and it’s a part of your life and you make the most of that. You need to take care of yourself.”
You can donate to the cause here.
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