Julia's Cabin



in memory of Julia Matonis

Julia Lyn Matonis, a very special girl, was born March 11, 1992.  Julia, the oldest of three children, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 6. Her mother, Cathy, was encouraged to get involved with Camp Ho Mita Koda where Julia could learn about her diabetes and be just like every other kid enjoying all of the fun summer camp had to offer.  Julia also had Downs Syndrome, but mother Cathy and her husband, Rich, never let Julia’s special needs get in the way of a happy and normal childhood. 

Julia fell in love with Camp Ho Mita Koda - and everyone at Camp fell in love with her, her big smile and infectious laugh.  

Julia Matonis at Camp Ho Mita Koda

According to Julia's father, Rich Matonis,

The first year Julia attended the camp, Cathy and I were more afraid than she was.  Our daughter had never spent the night away from family and we feared she would be terrified.  We should have known better.  Starting the day so shy, Julia, as if on cue, soon had the attention of a whole new group of people.  I remember going back to camp towards the end of the first day to drop off something she forgot, she really didn’t need anything,  we just needed to make sure she was alright.  I knew she was okay when I knocked on the door and instead of her running into my arms and yelling “daddy!” she looked up from her circle of friends and asked “why are you still here?”

Julia spent many summers making friends and enjoying camp activities.

On December 17, 2010 Julia passed away from a heart arrhythmia.  She was 18 years old. 
Julia Matonis


Because Camp helped Julia is so many ways, Cathy wanted to give back after Julia passed away. “We have felt so much support from everyone around Julia that we wanted to give back,” said Cathy. In November of 2011, Cathy started an annual fundraiser called Julia’s Song, in order to raise money for Camp Ho Mita Koda. Over 450 people attended the first benefit to raise more than $40,000 to build a permanent structure at camp in memory of Julia. Construction began on Julia's Treehouse in 2013, built in memory of Julia for the enjoyment of all the children at camp. 

Julia and her smile will always be remembered at Camp Ho Mita Koda.  She will continue to bring smiles to the faces of campers and staff who play at Julia's Treehouse for years to come.


Camp Ho Mita Koda

Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland

3601 S. Green Rd., #100
Beachwood, OH 44122
Phone: 216-591-0800 | Fax: 216-591-0320



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