Testimonials

The Richards Family

Camp Kudzu’s programs have the power to change life for everyone in a family affected by a child’s diagnosis. Read how attending Camp Kudzu affected Zharia Richards, her parents Juandalyn and W. Scott, and her older sister Ashlyn:

Zharia Richards

Zharia

“I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2006 at the age of seven. At the time, I was a little timid and self-conscious about my diabetes. I didn’t have anybody that I could relate to, so I felt secluded in some ways from the rest of my friends. As I continued to live with type 1 diabetes, I became more confident in myself. But it wasn’t until I found Camp Kudzu that I learned to truly embrace my diabetes and feel comfortable living with it. 

Juandalyn Richards

JUANDALYN

“It was summertime and although Zharia, age seven, was a junior cheerleader cheering out in the hot sun, something just didn’t feel right about my little girl always being thirsty and frequently using the bathroom. It was just mother’s intuition. So I took her to the doctor only to hear an unexpected diagnosis. Hearing of Zharia’s diagnosis as a type 1 diabetic was very traumatic. I had no clue what that meant for my child, let alone our family.

W. Scott Richards

W. Scott

“When Zharia was diagnosed at 7, it was a major shock. Initially, we wondered what limitations type 1 diabetes would place on her dreams and goals. How does an otherwise healthy and active young child deal with all that comes with this disease? More importantly, how do we, as parents, support her, encourage her, and make things as normal as possible?

Ashlyn Richards

ASHLYN

“Camp Kudzu has definitely helped me as Zharia’s older sister. When she was first diagnosed, it was really hard to watch my sister experience low blood sugar, to give her insulin, and check her blood sugar. It was new and frightening.

When I came to pick up my son, I saw a young boy who was no longer shy or dismayed about his condition. He was empowered. No more issues of the past, eyes wide open to take on each day. Thank you 10 million times x 10 over and over.

Camper Parent

Camp is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s my favorite part of the year.

Former Camper

Other parents have asked me why Amy is so independent with her diabetes management. I tell them it is all from Camp Kudzu. Amy has only been diagnosed for a year and a half and is so much more educated than the kids that have been diagnosed for years. I can’t say enough good things about the camp – you have really made a difference in her life.

Camper Parent

Absolutely amazing place and staffed by some very special volunteers.

Camper Parent

It’s my daughter’s 3rd time at Camp Kudzu and she only wishes she could go there every month of the year!!!!! She is so welcomed, so cared and loved there! We want to thank everyone who volunteers and donate!!! You cannot imagine the difference you are making in these kids’ lives!!!!

Camp Volunteer

Our daughter looks forward to CK each summer! She has made lifelong friends and developed great skills in just the 2 years that she’s attended. We love Camp Kudzu and all of the memories that she’s made there! Thank you to all of the clinicians, nurses, volunteers, and sponsors that make this camp possible

Camper Parent

Dr. Quentin Van Meter

For over 40 years, I have been diagnosing and treating children who live with insulin dependent type 1 diabetes. The families must endure the initial shock of accepting and understanding the diagnosis and then move forward to put in place the lifestyle changes to manage this disease. Even though physicians provide medical information with encouragement, that’s not enough to calm their fears. 

That is one of the reasons that I insist that children with type 1 diabetes go to Camp Kudzu. I have seen first-hand the great improvements attending Camp Kudzu’s programs makes on the lives of children and it helps reduce their parents’ concerns too. It is no wonder that these campers count the days until the next year’s session of camp when they can rejoin their soulmates.

DR. QUENTIN VAN METER