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Olympic Skier Relates to Campers Battling Same Disease

Kris Freeman rises to challenges and competes all the while living with something the campers can relate to. So, campers took a break to listen to his very important message.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Kids living with type one diabetes got a lesson in courage and strength from an Olympic skier on Monday.

A man who rises to challenges and competes all the while living with something they can relate to. So, campers took a break to listen to a very important message from Kris Freeman.

"I can't change it, I've got diabetes, I've had a very successful career," says Freeman.

Freeman diagnosed at age 19.

"Well I was really, really devastated by it and really scared, but when I'm scared of something I need to understand it, so I researched as much as I could, came to my own understanding of it. I decided what was possible on my own terms, then I found a support structure to help me," added Freeman.

Now he travels the U.S. sharing his story with campers who have diabetes, posing for pictures, signing autographs and participating in team building exercises.

13-year-old Abbie Smith says it was a little hard.

"It was complicated, we had to juggle the balls and bean bags and stuff," said Smith.

Smith has type one diabetes and like Kris is involved in sports, but feels his accomplishments are beyond her reach.

"Wow I couldn't do something like that, he can take the disappointment and turn it into something to where he would push himself to do that," added Smith.

But Freeman's advice, was a pep talk he once gave himself.

"I've got diabetes, I've had a very successful career, maybe it would be better without it maybe it wouldn't, sitting around fantasizing has gotten me nowhere, so this is what I tell the kids, this is what we have, make the best of it," said Freeman.

Smith says she is going to try, and she and other campers will stay the week at Camp Adlersgate, taking away a lesson of it's not always easy, to find a way to make your dreams come true, from Type One - to number one.
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