Aspiring Young Actress Works To Spread Diabetes Awareness
Camryn Holt was diagnosed at two and a half years old with Type 1 Diabetes, but she isn't letting it hold her back from pursuing her dreams in the theater, while educating peers about her disease.
At just nine years old, Camryn Holt is an inspiration.
Her mother Stacey describes the Riverside School fourth grader as brave and independent. "She's someone who never, ever complains about her situation, and who doesn't mind sharing her story with peers to help educate them about what she has to experience every day," she said.
As an insulin dependent diabetic, Camryn's every day entails a shot of insulin 4-6 times a day, testing her blood level 10 times a day at least; every time she eats something, or doesn’t feel right. "She’s very in tuned with her body, she can feel it," Holt explained.
Stacey Holt knew first hand what changes and modifications would need to be made in order to accomodate the needs of a diabetic child, after her brother was diagnosed at the age of ten with type 1 diabetes. "I obviously carry the gene, but I don't have it," she said. "I have cried so much, especially in the first two years, wishing it was me instead of her."
Holt described how dramatic changes in her daughters behavior triggered the diagnosis. "She was such a good baby, and then at two, we wanted to potty train her. She became so sad, and was drinking water constantly, complaining of stomach pain. So we brought her to the hospital and her glucose was in the 600’s. Normal levels are around 80."
Luckily for the Holts, they caught it early enough so Camryn didnt need to be hospitalized. Together with their extended family and close friends they went to the Joslin Clinic learned how to handle insulin and treatments. "We're very lucky to have so much support, but everyone wanted to learn how to care for Camryn so they could be able to take her," said Holt.
Now, Camryn has to go into Joslin for checkups every four months, and eat a modified strict diet on a set schedule. Otherwise, she lives the normal life of a fourth grader.
"When she first moved here last year, she was a little nervous to tell the kids in her class; but she brought a book with her from Joslin, called taking diabetes to school, she read it to educate the classmates, and even took them to the nurses office so they could see what it was all about."
An aspiring actress, Camryn has been performing this fall in the Northshore Players production of Miracle On 34th Street. As part of the chorus, and with many small roles throughout the show, Camryn is enjoying her time in the limelight.
"My favorite part in this play is the one I have my line in which is, 'I just want a puppy,' then I walk over to the counter, and stand in front with all the kids and get to sing, “Here’s Love.” That’s my favorite part," said Cameron.
Two years ago, Stacey Holt described, Camryn decided to become more involved with diabetes awareness, and together they attended Diabetes Day at the State House to advocate to the legislature for prevention, better treatment, and a cure for both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. "It was her first experience getting involved with diabetes awareness. Camryn really was interested in getting involved, and made a point to meet Senator Thomas McGee," Holt said.
What's next for Camryn Holt?
According to her mother, Camryn is becoming more serious about ther performing arts, has taught herself to read music and is learning to play guitar and the keyboard. "She is a born performer, and has a beautiful voice," she said. In January, Holt will attend tryouts for the next Northshore Players Production, and hopes to get a lead role with more speaking parts.
"When I’m on stage, I’m feeling good about it, so I don’t think as much about my diabetes at all-because I’m having so much fun!" Camryn said.