Health Check Kids: Rock climbing helping kids with Type 1 diabetes
Rock Type 1 aims to help kids living with Type 1 diabetes reach new heights.
This Rhode Island-based non-profit organization was formed five years ago by Dr. Stephen Scott and his wife, Dr. Susan Ramsey, a few years after their son, Liam was diagnosed at the age of 7.
"It can be an incredibly draining and stressful medical condition to manage and it's one of those things that you really can't understand unless you're living it,” said Ramsey.
"We were rock climbers before Liam was diagnosed,” said Scott.
"And one of our first promises to him were we wouldn't stop what we were doing."
At first, this family set its sights on raising money for research. And they did. But then they had an even better idea.
"We thought it would be great to get kids out and their families out who are affected by diabetes as well to exercise and what we found was the community we built was actually the most important part of this," said Scott.
And that's how Rock Type 1 came to be. This family traveling from gym to gym throughout New England, bringing kids and their families together through rock climbing.
"Rock climbing has a big effect,” said Liam, who just turned 15. “It's really helpful in both lowering blood sugars and being more aware of your blood sugars."
And during the rock climbing events, Liam not only climbs, but encourages other young people.
"I guess I try to be supportive and just tell them to not look down,” he laughed.
"Families talk, kids climb. It's great exercise and fun for everybody," said Scott.
"We've had adults who've come in who've talked to the kids who have type 1 diabetes and have climbed Mt. Everest or have done other feats," said Ramsey.
All of these events in the name of empowering those who, at times, feel powerless.
All of the rock climbing events are free of charge to kids and teenagers with Type 1 diabetes, and their families.
This weekends’ rock climb is Sunday, at the Central Rock Gym in Warwick.