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Diabetes Discovery Week’s goal is to raise awareness

A neighbor. A colleague. A child, cousin or parent.

The numbers say you probably know someone with diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 2 out of 5 Americans will develop type 2 diabetes, and that’s not counting the 1.25 million with type 1 — most of whom were diagnosed at a young age.

Consider the numbers by which one of our Kandu kids has lived:

5: the age when Bella was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes;

7,304: the number of times she has checked her blood sugar (or, as of a second ago, 7,305!);

525: how many shots of insulin she has been given or given herself;

187: how many times she has had to change her insulin pump site;

And, perhaps most importantly, 742.

That is the number of days Bella has spent not only overcoming diabetes but thriving with it. Bella’s regimen may be measured in numbers, but she has not let those numbers tyrannize her life.

Bella lives 24/7 with a chronic disease. But she has also learned to read, grown into a caring big sister, and, by the way, become the best defender on her soccer team. She has one killer slide tackle. Bella was fortunate to have her type 1 diabetes discovered early because her family recognized the warning signs. But 25 percent of children with type 1 diabetes present at diagnosis in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potentially life-threatening condition.

Diabetes Discovery Week is a statewide initiative sponsored by the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi during the week of March 20-26.

The goal is to raise awareness of the warning signs of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in an effort to save lives. Early diagnosis is vitally important.

Call the DFM to request free information including our “Wake Up, Mississippi!” bookmark and “You’re Never Too Young for Diabetes” flyer to learn more about warning signs and risk factors for both types of diabetes.

For more than 50 years, the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi has been the state’s premier diabetes organization, caring for thousands of children and adults.

Call 1-877-DFM-CURE or visit www.msdiabetes.org to take a risk test and learn more about how you can join the DFM in the fight against diabetes.

Rick Carlton, MD

President, Diabetes Foundation

of Mississippi