The Diabetes Family Connection

Year Founded
Local Leader/Exec. Director
Patrick Mertes
Primary Contact Name
Gail Machilek
Main Address

STE 35-241
Raleigh, NC 27615
United States

United States

What We Do

The Diabetes Family Connection is on a mission to positively transform life with diabetes through the power of community. Our organization provides year-round recreation-based programs focused on building confidence, optimism, and support for people living with diabetes and their families.


Family Retreats
Summer Camps (Camp Morris)
Teen Programs
High Adventure Expeditions
Events for Adults
We’re passionate about the programs that we provide because we know, firsthand, the impact that they have. Our Camp Directors, Medical Director, Program Coordinators, Executive Director, Board Members, and the large majority of our counselors are ALL living with diabetes. We’re talking centuries’ worth of collective diabetes experience! We understand the highs and lows of navigating life with diabetes because we live with it every day.


Camp Morris is North Carolina’s LARGEST residential diabetes summer camp! Kids and teens looking to experience an independent camp program will find this week chock-full of excitement, friendship, and learning opportunities. Campers are assigned cabins by age and supervised by experienced counselors (many of whom are living with diabetes themselves) and a dedicated team of healthcare professionals including: pediatric endocrinologists; registered nurses; registered dietitians; pharmacists; and certified diabetes educators. Camp Morris is a “challenge-by-choice” environment where campers have the opportunity to participate in traditional camp activities that include: archery; canoeing; camp fires; swimming; zip-lines; arts and crafts; multiple challenge courses; and so much more! Our staff and volunteers are experts at “meeting campers where they’re at,” using teachable moments throughout the week to promote healthy, age-appropriate independence in diabetes management.

IMPACT OF COVID-19 - SPECIFIC NEEDS: How We Are Impacted: The DFC has been directly impacted by current events including the cancellation of our largest annual fundraising event and summer camp program. We have adjusted our programs to continue to support the children and families who rely on our services and are hosting Camp Morris, NC's largest diabetes camp, as a virtual camp and continuing engagement with daily social media and online events while we plan for a later fall camp opportunity.


Financial Donation Requested: Due to the $70,000 loss of our normal fundraising programs, we appreciate you considering to give today to enable us to continue to serve the families and children of NC with Type 1 Diabetes who deal with diabetes 24x7 and rely on these programs to learn how to successfully manage their diabetes. 100% of our campers experience camp at a highly subsidized rate so your donation is very important as many families are facing even more funding challenges due to COVID-19.

Specific Volunteer Needs: If you or others you know work for companies with matching donation programs, you can help by contacting us at or visit to identify you/your friend/family's company so that we can discuss matching gift programs. As we determine the ability to host in-person events again, we will expand our volunteer needs to as we rely on our wonderful volunteers to accomplish our mission.

Interesting Info
  • We serve 180+ individuals living w/ diabetes during Camp Morris & countless families and children through our retreats and our partnership with the JDRF summits
  • Camp Morris is North Carolina’s LARGEST residential diabetes summer camp!
Geographic Location
Photos and Videos