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Franciscan Health and Fitness: Slam Dunk for Diabetes Basketball Camp Offers Lessons for on and Off the Court

Coach Isaiah Webster watches a shot go up during the second day of a three-day, eighth-annual Moses E. Cheeks Slam Dunk for Diabetes Basketball Camp at Franciscan Health and Fitness Centers in Schererville. Webster and coach Anthony Wofford are from the Chicago Bulls Training Academy and led the free program, which had 24 participants.

The camp is offered for diabetic children and young adults, aged 5 to 18. Diabetes educators from the fitness center, Franciscan Health hospitals and other area health providers, also were on hand to assist the youngsters. The program, which began in 2005, teaches fundamentals of living with diabetes and offers a place where attendees gain confidence in a safe, structured and supportive atmosphere, according to the camp website.

The program is designed to teach participants the relationship between food, exercise and insulin, as well as basketball skills. It likewise is designed to teach campers how sports, illnesses and stress affect blood sugar levels, how to make corrections to insulin intake and to demonstrate that diabetes need not prevent one from living a full, active and productive life. Cheeks was the father of Maurice Cheeks, who was a National Basketball Association coach. Moses Cheeks, who had pancreatic cancer and Type 1 diabetes, was a basketball enthusiast who was instrumental in planning the camp.

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