Concert to benefit Diabetes Association

Camas family is involved in promoting tonight's event

A 10-year-old Camas boy and his parents are teaming up with Camas Meadows Golf Club and Tommy O’s Restaurants to present the next performance in the “Concerts for a Cause” series.

Blake Bell, son of Brad and Dana Bell, has had type 1 diabetes for three years. A doctor identified Blake’s weight loss and constant thirst as classic symptoms of the disease.

Brad Bell said their family — including grandparents, aunts and uncles — have become educated about biochemistry, physiology and nutrition since the diagnosis.

“We learned how food affects blood sugar, how mood swings can indicate sugar highs and lows, the many kinds of insulin and how to mix them,” he said. “We were scared and overwhelmed.

“When Blake was diagnosed, one of the doctors predicted that my wife and I would be very different people in a year’s time,” Brad Bell added. “Amazingly, we are. We have refocused the energy we spent worrying, to promoting awareness about diabetes and raising funds for research we believe will lead to better ways of managing the disease and, eventually, a cure.”

Blake is one of more than 29,000 people in Clark County living with type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes. Another 84,000 people in the county have pre-diabetes. Their blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

The concert, featuring Patrick Lamb, will be held today, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at Camas Meadows, 4105 N.W. Camas Meadows Drive. The admission, $5 per person, will benefit the American Diabetes Association. Food and beverages will be available to purchase on site.

“With the help of his parents, Blake is channeling what can be a very challenging and frustrating disease into volunteering and raising funds for the association,” said Andrea Bruno, of Camas. She is the American Diabetes Association executive director for Oregon, Southwest Washington and Southern Idaho. “Blake has been passing out flyers, sending emails and using social media to get a big crowd out for the concert.”

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