People to Know 2016: Matthew Corcoran, MD, CDE, ACSM
Diabetes camps are a staple in the lives of many children with diabetes. They certainly were in mine. Starting at age 4, camp was the one place I could go to feel a sense of belonging. It gave me the gift of normalcy and community that I lacked the other 51 weeks out of the year. But what about the grown-ups? For many campers, adulthood marks the end of an era. But that doesn’t stop the need for belonging.
Enter Matthew Corcoran, MD, CDE, ACSM, diabetes educator, endocrinologist, and exercise specialist.
For many adults each year, Matt’s Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Diabetes Training Camp (run by the Diabetes Training Camp Foundation) is that safe space. It’s a weeklong camp for teens and adults with diabetes who want to learn how to be active and athletic and to take better control of their diabetes. The week is built around the principles of education, training, and community. The camp provides fitness and multisport training, education, small groups, and one-on-one consultations with experts.
But Diabetes Training Camp is not just about getting in shape or getting your A1C down (although that may certainly be a result). For many of these adults, it’s the first diabetes camp they have ever been to—and the first time they have ever felt like they belonged.
“If I was going to say what the camp is, it would be community,” says Matt. He often receives e-mails from former campers who have made the effort to meet up with each other for a drink or a bite to eat all over the world.
Matt’s passion and inspiration come from his niece, who was diagnosed at age 3. When he is at camp, he says, he feels that he is doing exactly what he is meant to be doing.
Want in on the adult camp experience?
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 2 years old, Jasmine Amerasekera first attended diabetes camp at age 4. She continued on as a counselor and assistant nurse when she turned 18. She is now a junior at the University of California–Berkeley and a public health major.