DTC Support Staff
Charlie Catalano was diagnosed with diabetes at age 30. He comes from a long, proud line of Type 1 diabetics that includes his mother, sister and uncle. Born in an ambulance on the Autobahn somewhere near Wurzburg, Germany, Charlie has remained in motion, having completed ten triathlons including three Ironman races, 33 marathons, eight ultra-marathons and two duathlons. He once ran three marathons in 16 days to “leaf peep” across New England.
Charlie is motivated by a quotation from a T1D and ultra-marathoner that appeared on DTC’s Facebook page: “[He] sure as hell [isn’t] going to allow a pesky pancreas to keep [him] from doing epic shit.” For example, Charlie has run the Daytona 100-mile Ultramarathon in less than 24 hours with the incredible support of Gillian Forsyth and Sharon Levin, two fellow DTC staff members. He has also completed the “Ride Across Indiana”: one day, one way, 160 miles.
Charlie uses diabetes to fuel his passions—tackling every day and every goal despite his disease and drawing inspiration from all the wonderful "peeps with beeps" in the close-knit diabetic community. He hopes that he can be as much of an inspiration to those with diabetes as they have been to him.
Charlie is a Level 1 certified coach with the Road Runners Club of America. He lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, with Chas, his high school sweetheart and wife of 28 years.
Mitchell was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of 6. After a long search for guidance in how to manage diabetes and exercise, Mitchell found Diabetes Training Camp to which he credits his revived sense of belonging to a group of like-minded individuals, as well as motivation in handling the day-to-day struggles of living with T1D.
He sees community as a necessity to all of those affected. Mitchell attended DTC in 2018 as a camper and has returned as a staff member where he can serve the community that has served him. Mitchell intends to attend medical school where he believes his life with diabetes has shaped his wants and desires to help those who are seeking answers in the complexity of diseases such as T1D. He says that Dr. Matt has changed the outlook and presentation of the disease in the medical field. They both stand by the belief that diabetes should NOT limit the opportunities of the affected, rather merely by the route you take to achieve the goal. He would like to continue to drive this belief in his professional career through research and advocacy.
Mitchell played competitive soccer for most of his life, now playing in adult leagues and in campus parks. He never let diabetes discourage him from playing his sport even though it was not always easy. He is thankful for the opportunity to have attended DTC when he did although it would have been wonderful to understand the diabetic athlete years ago. Mitchell says that it is important for all of us to continue to push for the medical community to take hold of what we are doing here at DTC. He believes exercise is vital to life with T1D; however, it is largely misrepresented.
A super alumnus having attended DTC as a camper 7 times, Anthony has now become a member of the support staff. Diagnosied over 10 hears ago, he lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where he works as a life coach with a specialty in diabetes lifestyle management. Anthony is also a Medtronic Ambassador and speaks at American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) events in the Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC areas.
Anthony works hard, but he also plays hard. He has participated and refereed both semi-pro league rugby and amateur union rugby. As if rugby were not enough, Anthony also took up training for Highland Games—you know, big guys in kilts throwing heavy things like telephone poles… All that aside, Anthony's real passion is people.
Caren has been involved with the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for over ten years and has participated in various events and held many volunteer positions. Her latest passion is the JDRF Ride to Cure program. She began her riding "career" on a challenge from a fellow rider and has loved it ever since. Caren has participated in 14 JDRF rides as well as other charity rides. She recently became a JDRF coach. When she is not on her bike, she is spending time at the beach, traveling or with her nieces and nephews.
Paul was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 19 after his freshman year at college. He went 7 (!) years having met only one other person living with T1D before attending Diabetes Training Camp in 2013. After attending a few camps, he learned the tools to manage T1D. It took years of tweaking and experimenting, but it eventually led to finishing Ironman Lake Placid in 2017 and Ironman Wisconsin in 2019. Paul has served in various roles on staff at DTC and is also a USA Cycling Level 3 coach. He considers himself to be a walking medical file, but that does not get in the way of trying anything new or any athletic endeavor. Paul finds he is most comfortable on his bicycle throughout his current home state of Tennessee and is active in his local cycling and triathlon groups.
Adam is studying biochemistry in hopes of attending medical school to become an endocrinologist. Currently he performs research in cardiac physiology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. Adam is originally from Toms River, New Jersey, but has recently relocated with his father to South Jersey where he first met Dr. Corcoran and shadowed him in his office before joining the Diabetes Training Camp team. He loves working with this amazing staff of inspiring and talented individuals and meeting and connecting with DTC campers!
Corey Melke aka @CoreyLearn is a social media maven and Type 1 diabetic—over 10 years strong! Corey found running around the same time she was diagnosed at age 33 and has never let T1D prevent her from wanting to run faster and further. Starting with 5Ks and moving to longer and longer races, she has now completed over 40 races including four ultra-marathons of 50 miles or more. In 2019, Corey participated in The Speed Project—running from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
She also loves traveling and adventure and has visited over 46 countries. Corey is a blogger and social media influencer and uses her platforms to encourage everyone to “get moving” and to never let anything get in the way of achieving their goals!
Chasity “Chas” Pittman isn’t a diabetic, but she has been married to one for many, many years! Her husband, Charlie Catalano, has attended Diabetes Training Camp as a camper and as part of the cycling support team.
Chas recently completed her coursework and clinicals in occupational therapy assisting and is in the process of studying for her board exam. She has graciously spent time in support of Charlie and his fellow “peeps with beeps” by photographing the Diabetes Training Camp experience and providing any administrative support needed. Chas enjoys participating in anything outdoors, especially walking and bicycling, and has a special place in her heart for rescue dogs. She is incredibly excited about being a part of camp to capture many special memories for everyone.
Sandra was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1980 at age 13 and joined DTC as a first time camper in 2014. In over 35 years of living with T1D, she’d barely met or talked to another Type 1 diabetic (maybe two). Camp was a pivotal turning point—it totally ignited her diabetes engines and sparked a fiery passion to learn more, advocate and connect people living with T1D.
Before camp she was a “recreationist” but never considered herself an “athlete.” Now she is a dedicated runner and cycler with some “thons” under her belt—half-marathons, triathlons, duathlons and a 75-mile “Team DTC” Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) ride… always a “next” race to train for.
She lives in a small town in northern British Columbia, Canada, where she can be downhill skiing 40 minutes after crawling out of bed and still make it to the office before anyone has noticed. She works in web and graphic design and has helped DTC with various online tools to “do our thing” and provide support for the cycling team. You will see her shooting photos in an ongoing attempt to capture the MAGIC of Diabetes Training Camp, so we can share it with others. She is honoured (with a Canadian “u”) and humbled to be part of such an inspiring and kickass camp of “diabadasses”!
Bob was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in October of 1992 while on a business trip in Lansing, Michigan. He had been a runner since the age of ten and was still training hard when the usual symptoms appeared. After a few days in the hospital, he flew home and the very first thing he did was go for an easy 30-minute run to the railroad tracks and back. When he got back, he realized he was still alive and all was right with the world. He won races, he lost races, but he still loved lacing up a pair of the lightest racing flats he could find and running hard for 15 to 30(ish) minutes.
Any more time or distance than that would just be silly… But at the age of 25, all the foot and hamstring injuries started to take their toll and so, on a lengthy business trip, he bought a bike. Exercise became fun again.
Two years later, thanks to a few very patient friends, he started racing on the velodrome and then competed on the road and dirt. He didn’t touch his running shoes for over 20 years. (He broke that streak in 2018 and promptly got injured again after two trail sessions.) Bob has competed in hundreds of bike races like Superweek, Green Mountain Stage Race and the Race Across America (RAAM) and is still a regular at the Chicago Cyclocross Series. It’s all for fun now, though, since hair started growing in his ears. Bob was a member of Team Type 1 for five years, competing in RAAM 3 times as well as managing the amateur teams and sponsorship commitments. Bob says the camaraderie of Team Type 1 made it feel like a perpetual summer camp. He still enjoys close friendships with those athletes today. It is what drew him to DTC.
Bob lives in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, just one block south of the Wisconsin border. He has been married more than 25 years to his very lovely wife Joy (she has the insurance!) and cares for several feral and not-so-feral rescued cats. Bob is a custom painter who refinishes cherished racing bicycles, adds personality to steel and carbon and strives daily to convince people that sparkles are magic.
Kirsten Ward, MS, RCEP, CDE
Kirsten began her diabetes career working at the Joslin Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, as an exercise physiologist, CDE and as the Latino Initiative’s program coordinator. Kirsten’s professional experience also includes working in industry as a medical liaison and with a variety of medical devices. She is a certified coach and now has her own business as a diabetes consultant.
As a previous marathoner (she completed 13 total), she has retired from long distance running and instead spends time biking, ballroom dancing, teaching Pilates and practicing a lot of downward dogs (she loves hot yoga). You will also see her playing fetch with her Yorkie and dancing. Her mission is to empower people to live healthier, happier lives.