Local News

Program Helps Families Cope With Pediatric Diabetes

Posted July 29, 2003

— The life of a diabetic includes insulin, needles and checking blood sugar. The daily rituals of diabetes can be especially tough on children. A new program is aimed at making the disease a little less complicated for the entire family.

More children these days have diabetes, primarily

type 2

, which has increased 20 percent.

"Obesity, lack of exercise, kids that are couch potatoes doing video games rather than playing outside," are factors said Debbe Langdon, a registrered nurse and supervisor of

WakeMed's

Pediatric Diabetes program.

The program is helping families cope with diabetes. During group meetings, the program focuses on managing blood sugar in a hectic lifestyle. If needed, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Julie Paul provides one-on-one care.

"If they need more help in how can we cook meals fast, we can help them do that," Paul said.

Jenee Killens, 9, has

type 1

diabetes. Thanks to the program, Jenee's diabetes is under control and she likes checking her blood sugar.

"It's not a big deal," Jenee said. "Now I'm glad that I can take it and see what it is."

Her mother, Deborah, said it is a relief knowing her daughter can handle her diabetes.

"She went to camp for four days [with] her sister. I would not have done that, probably, if I had not learned some things here," she said.

It is peace of mind for her parents and a chance for Jenee to be just like other kids her age.

WakeMed's program also involves schools and pediatricians' offices. It is free to children under age 18 and their families. For information call (919) 350-7584.

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