Basketball Camps
Coaches Corner


Coach Monica, Executive Director, Diabetes Educator

Monica Joyce, MS, RD, LD, CDE

We held five Slam Dunk for Diabetes Basketball® Camps last summer of 2013 — with over 200 kids attending. Camps were offered in Rockford and Chicago, Illinois, as well as Schererville, Indiana and West Allis, Wisconsin. This was the first camp for the kids in the Milwaukee area. Novo Nordisk helped make this camp possible with their funding. Novo also brought ex-NBA player Dominique Wilkins to talk to the kids about living with diabetes. The Chicago camp had a visit from Sydney Greene, courtesy of the Chicago Bulls.

A big thank you to all the dedicated coaches and diabetes educators who helped coach and keep the Slam Dunk Kids safe while they played ball. Coach Ed Leonard led the team in Milwaukee while Jessica Stanek, Rockford College Head Women’s Coach, returned for her fourth year to coach Rockford. Larry Stewart, General Manager of the Bulls Training Academy sent his best coaches to our other three camps making for some great ball playing this summer. Dave Adrieansen, Teresa Alesia, Bridget Kosekle, Peggy O’Donnell and Nancy Todora coordinated the medical staff at our five camps. Couldn’t do it without you ladies!

Summer of 2014 takes us to Memphis, Tennessee, where we will partner with the Children’s Hospital to open our sixth camp. It is this combined effort that makes each camp, each year, a great success⎯along with the team effort of kids, parents, coaches and diabetes educators. Thank you to all the volunteers that pitched in and helped out whenever there was a need I could never do this without your help, hard work and dedication.

And because of the generosity of our donors, no child is turned away.

Heads up!
Monica is featured in the May/June 2013 issue of Food and Nutrition, a magazine supplement of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The article about Slam Dunk for Diabetes Basketball Camp is in the “Inspire/Be a Hero” column.

Monica is being featured in “Showcasing Our Heroes,” a video series by the American Academy of Foods and Nutrition.

Slam Dunk for Diabetes was recognized nationally at the American Association of Diabetes Educators National meeting in Philadelphia in August. The theme of the annual meeting was The Point of Possible. The story of Slam Dunk was told in pictures and words to over 3,000 attendees. It was an exciting experience!

Coach Emily

Emily Peters, Basketball Coach

I played basketball competitively for 6 years in school through junior high and high school. After high school, I continued to play for another 4 years less competitively through intramural leagues within college. I started coaching for Slam Dunk in 2013. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’m looking forward to our 2015 camps.

Coach Michelle Campbell

Michelle is a power forward who, after playing at Rutgers, played for several years in Europe where she was the Turkish top scorer in 2009-10 with 21, 4 points and 8,9 rebounds per game. She was named the most improved player in the Big East conference and in the third best team.
In 2005-06 and as a senior player, Michelle averaged 8,2 points and 5,4 rebounds per game, being Big East regular season Champion and advancing to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Once her college season was over and after attending Mystics summer camp in 2006, she signed with Israeli Raanana Herzeliya and finished the season playing for Torun in Poland.
She signed with Galatasaray for the 2010-11 season making her debut in Euroleague.
Looking forward to a great Slam Dunk season!

Coach Andrew Baron

I am thirty years old and have had type 1 diabetes for 20 years. I played basketball at Columbia University in New York where I graduated with a degree in Economics and Political Science. I became Monica’s patient 6 years ago. After struggling with my blood sugars and trying to prevent hypoglycemia, I decided to try an Omnipod insulin pump. I have been successfully wearing one ever since. I currently work in the financial field in Chicago. I also continue to play basketball and enjoy coaching for Slam Dunk for diabetes.

Medical Staff

Brandi Pigg, MS, RD, LDN, CLC

Clinical Pediatric Dietitian
Department of Nutrition Therapy
LeBonheur Children’s Hospital

Brandi graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Mississippi in May 2010.  In 2012, she completed the University of Mississippi’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics with a Masters of Science in Food and Nutrition Services.  Brandi previously worked at Baptist Desoto Memorial Hospital in adult care and she currently works at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital where she has been employed since January 2013.  Brandi worked with pediatric patients with diabetes when she first started at LeBonheur and now works with patients with cystic fibrosis (including cystic fibrosis related diabetes) and liver transplant patients.  With a combined passion for physical activity and building relationships with families and patients, Slam Dunk for Diabetes has been a perfect fit for Brandi.

Teresa S. Alesia, RN, BSN, CDE

Since August 2007  Teresa has worked at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL as the Pediatric Diabetic Nurse Manager and Endocrinology Nurse.  She meets with the children and their  parents/guardians at the hospital when they are first diagnosed with diabetes.  Teresa provides one-on-one diabetic education to teach them what they need to know to go home from the hospital, return to school and safely manage their diabetes.  She is the nurse manager for all diabetic patients and actively works in collaboration with Pediatric Endocrinologists when meeting with the children at their outpatient appointments.  In addition, she will assist parents/guardians when making insulin dose adjustments for pump therapy,  multiple daily injections and continuous glucose monitoring.  Teresa provides community outreach education programs for schools, teaching school personnel how to keep students with diabetes safe at school.

Prior to working at Loyola, she worked in School District 204 as a nurse and worked with more than  1500+ students at two elementary schools.

Teresa has worked with Slam Dunk for Diabetes since 2008 and continues to work with the children at the Slam Dunk for Diabetes basketball camps.  She enjoys seeing the children with diabetes having fun, being physically active while safely maintaining target glucose levels. She and her family enjoy March Madness basketball – it’s their favorite time of the year!

Nancy Todora, RN, BSHA, CDE

-Worked as staff nurse, department manager, and educator in Endocrinology for 37.5 years and became certified in diabetes education in 1989.
-Member of Rock River American Associates of Diabetes Educators and board member for 20 years, holding all positions.
-Certified insulin pump trainer for Medtronic since 1989 and have been for Cosmo, Animas, Roche/Spirit., and Omni Pod.
-Helped to start 3 accredited diabetes programs for Rockford Health Physicians.
-Facilitated 3 different support groups over the years.
-Volunteered with Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition on the Education and Outreach Committee for 20 years.
-Committee chair for 3 Rockford ADA walks.
-Became involved with Slam Dunk in 2010 when Monica Joyce called. The first camp was held in June, 2011.

541 Kincaid St., Highland Park, IL 60035 || FAX: 800.933.9101 Copyright © 2019. Slam Dunk for Diabetes. All rights reserved