Andrea K. Roth-Ross
Clara Barton Birthplace Camp, now called Clara Barton Diabetes Center, began heartfelt memories in 1964. Having attended 3-week sessions there between approximately 1964 through 1973, lasting impressions were formed and re-considered well into my present adulthood. Nine summers of my young diabetic life were spent there - in total anticipation. I oftentimes yearn for that part of my past. Having made it as far as a C. I. T., I was heart broken when I realized I was all grown up. Seriously. My life chose other paths.
Nestled amidst a pine grove and a rolling blanket of healthy green grass, CBBC in North Oxford, Massachusetts, was a blessing I will never overcome. To experience the positiveness of diabetes was overwhelming at first. I remember thinking that this disease was to be hidden; I was ashamed and fearful. CBBC (now CDBC) - its environment, its chosen councillor/leader/ the bugle each morning, the other diabetic campers, multitudinous activities, and the boys at neighboring Joslin Camp - helped to nurture me to be the healthy and successful person I am today.
After having diabetes for 37 years (onset at age 2), I have been repeatedly diagnosed with no usual disabling symptoms. To keep it that way, I have most recently purchased an insulin pump. Between a disciplinarian mother and CBBC, I am alive today.
You see, after my third year at CBBC, a younger sister was diagnosed with diabetes. The following year, another kid-sister was diagnosed. We three experienced the Clara Barton style together for a few years. We were know as the "Buckroths." Gina has since died due to diabetic complications, in 1986. And Judy has become totally blind and had a successful kidney transplant three years ago.
We all loved that camp. It helped to encourage freedom of heart and soul; independence from beguiling stares and misunderstood necessities.
Presently transplanted in Southern California, I always look forward to visiting North Oxford while in Worcester, where we all grew up. My sister, Judy, and I, ALWAYS drive to CBBC for a walk through memory lane. Even without her eyesight, places and things have remained the same and we enjoy strolling the acreage re-visiting our past. What's missing are the people we came to know and love. And that's makes us sad.
I look forward to visiting again. Hopefully sooner than I can predict right now. I pray that the spirit of adventure while sharing, caring and understanding will endure at Clara Barton Birthplace Camp.
Andrea K. Roth-Ross
1616 N. Gulf AVenue
Wilmington, CA 90744-1309
e-mail [email protected]
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