May 14th-18th Sacred Heart School will be participating in JDRF Kids for a Cure – Kids Helping Kids Cure Type 1 Diabetes. Paper shoes and a table will be set up outside the elementary offices for students who would like to contribute to finding a cure for juvenile diabetes.
First of all, from our family, we wish to thank the Sacred Heart staff, especially Miss Lang, Mrs. Hoefs and Mrs. Swiger for their support and flexibility in accommodating Sophia in being a regular kid.
Sophia Keller is currently a 2nd grader at Sacred Heart. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in July 2017. Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce insulin, which allows the sugar in the blood stream to move into cells to be stored and used as energy. Sophia must monitor her blood sugar level (BSL) before and after meals and during times of activity and stress, about 9 times a day. At meal times, the carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are accounted for by reading labels and weighing portions. The amount of insulin administered varies based on the BSL and the amount of carbohydrates. In addition, she receives a long acting insulin before bed to help regulate her BSL between meals. The long-term effects of having a high BSL include kidney failure, heart disease, and nerve & eye damage. The consequence of a low BSL is low energy and fainting.
The cause of Type 1 Diabetes is unknown, however some believe it is an autoimmune disorder. The only treatment is to do the job of the pancreas. Currently, Sophia receives insulin by injection and monitors her BSL with test strips. Other technology available is a continuous monitor that reads the BSL through the skin, which reduces the test strip checks to 2 times per day for calibration and an insulin pump to eliminate the need for meal and nighttime injections.
For Sophia, discovering how having low or high BSL affects her and being able to communicate that with her family has been a fast learning curve. Now, almost a year later, she can tell when she’s low and lets us know. Her classmates even help by reminding her when it is time to test her BSL if she’s too absorbed in her schoolwork, o.k. recess. Her siblings also look out for her, as any disease like this affects not just the person, but those who support and surround them too.
Here are several notes on Type 1 Diabetes:
Also known as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes
1.25 million Americans have this type of Diabetes
40,000 are diagnosed each year
At the end of the day, the technology is out there to accommodate Type 1 Diabetes and there are wonderful people who assist in keeping the world “normal” for the kids, but we don’t know the cause and there is no prevention. We must continue the research and continue to develop our knowledge of Diabetes for treatment and then prevention.
Bernadette, Kristopher, Victoria, Alexander, Sophia & Michael