NEWTON, NJ – A local camp for children has received a ‘surprise grant’ from FirstEnergy Foundation.  The $1,000 grant is one of 12 given by New Jersey Central Power and Light as part of their Gifts of the Seasons.

“Since Camp Nejeda was founded in 1958, our campers have had a second home where they can learn how to manage their diabetes and also be ‘just kids’,” Bill Vierbuchen, Executive Director of the Camp Nejeda Foundation, said. “Charitable support from the FirstEnergy Foundation and many other corporate and individual donors has been essential to keeping the camp operating for nearly 60 consecutive years.”

Once misleadingly referred to as “juvenile diabetes,” type 1 diabetes is actually a lifelong chronic disease, according to Vierbuchen. The children have to learn to follow and intense regimen that includes regulating their insulin levels with injections or an insulin pump several times a day. 

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Camp Nejeda allows children to meet other kids with diabetes, have fun, and learn critically important disease management skills, according to Vierbuchen.

"We're pleased to provide this surprise support to so many agencies throughout New Jersey, particularly during the holidays, when the services they provide to the least fortunate are often most vital," said Dee Lowery, president of the FirstEnergy Foundation.  "The winners were chosen secretly by FirstEnergy employees, who identified organizations in their areas that do extraordinary work to make our communities better.  Our goal was to focus on programs that enhance children's services, or provide additional support for organizations facing a critical need during the holiday season."

Founded in 1958, Camp Nejeda is one of a handful of diabetes camps nationwide to own its facilities and exclusively serve children, teens, and families affected by Type 1 diabetes. In addition to eight weeks of summer residential camp programs and summer day camps, Camp Nejeda offers programs throughout the year for young adults, peers, and families affected by T1D as well as continuing education for RNs and LPNs seeking to expand their competencies in diabetes management.


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