South Bay Camp Closure Leaves Parents Searching For Alternatives

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diabetes camp

A diabetic child gets an insulin shot at Diabetes Camp. (Diabetes Society video still)

MattBigler20100909_KCBS_0384r Matt Bigler
KCBS's Matt Bigler started as a reporter/anchor in 2004, and is now...
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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Dozens of Bay Area families are scrambling to find summer camps for their diabetic children following the sudden closure of programs run by the Diabetes Society.

Parents who signed their kids up for camps this summer received an email from the Diabetes Society from out of the blue. It let parents know that because of the cancellations, they could either apply for a refund or write off the camp fees as a donation.

“I was on the verge of tears every time I thought of it and I still am. It’s so upsetting,” said Tamer Sofer-Geri of Los Altos, whose daughter Tia has attended the camp in the past.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The camps have been run by the San Jose-based nonprofit for decades, pairing children and counselors who have diabetes.

“For some of these kids, it was going to be the first time at the diabetes camp and first sleepover camp,” said Sofer-Geri. “The parents were excited, the kids were excited. It’s so disappointing.”

No one was available for comment at the Diabetes Society, which has had financial problems in the past. The nonprofit restructured as recently as 2009 and many had hoped that the hiring of a new CEO, Carol Kassouf, would change its fortunes. But she has since resigned.

The organization has retained a law firm to help process requests for a refund.

“We will give them their options based on an analysis of their financial situation and the other issues that are going on with regard to the camps,” said Trevor Zink with the Omni Law Group.

The camps offered special meals for diabetics and also provided medical professionals from several Bay Area hospitals.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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