Printed In “Yated  Ne’eman”, Shevat 5763 - Jan. 24 ‘03 in "Community News" section

Friends With Diabetes Celebrates Memorable Shabbaton

By S. Gottlieb

This past Shabbos, sixteen teenaged girls with diabetes celebrated a unique Shabbos of unity and friendship in Monsey, NY. The theme of the Shabbos was splendid Air”weighs”, and the speeches focused on ‘flying high’, making the most of one’s opportunities in life.

The entire Shabbos was one Splendid Journey, with an excellent ‘flight crew’ including a R.N., C.D.E. and a Registered Dietician on board. Rabbi Pinchos Jung, the dynamic guest speaker, elaborated on the middah of hakoras hatov. The professional workshops and hands-on presentations opened up new areas of discussion and education.

Although they come from different geographical areas and backgrounds, by the end of Shabbos, the girls had bonded like one big happy family.  The help of the many volunteers added to the organization and success of the Shabbos.

One 14 yr old said to her mother that this was her happiest Shabbos in her life!

The grand Shabbos finished with a bang. There  with a geshamake Melava malkah with inspirational games, and swimming in an indoor pool. The girls parted with emotional goodbyes, promising to keep in touch.

The Shabbaton was arranged by “Friends with Diabetes,” a remarkable organization offering chizuk and support to those who are managing with this condition.

The goal of FWD is to ensure that no Jewish person with diabetes ever feels isolated or helpless, and that they receive the necessary education to properly deal with their diabetes. FWD provides guidance and encouragement for newly diagnosed patients and their families, as well as for people who have had diabetes for years. FWD volunteers are always available by phone or in-person for a quick question or an in-depth discussion. All names and conversations are kept strictly confidential.

FWD provides a strong network of ongoing education and support. The organization has several publications covering the successful fusion of diabetes with Shabbos and Jewish holidays. FWD arranges and sponsors weekend events, shorter programs and support groups for individuals living with diabetes. These programs feature educational activities and renowned Rabbinical and medical speakers along with a strong feeling of camaraderie and understanding.