Fun Day Offers Kids Chance To Briefly Forget About Illness
Posted June 23, 2005 2:32 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Children with diabetes or asthma face limitations that most other kids do not. Many of their school mates do not understand their illness and may avoid them, which is why WakeMed set aside a fun day just for them.
Eight-year-old Raquel Ruiz has asthma. Meanwhile, Tucker Moore has diabetes and often has to carry kits with glucometers and insulin shots. Both children are in WakeMed's pediatric diabetes or asthma programs.
The children and their parents attend separate educational events throughout the year to learn more about their lifelong conditions.
"They have the same day-to-day challenges with medications and controlling their environment and doing the things they need to do to manage these illnesses on an everyday basis," said Leah Vaughn, of the WakeMed pediatric asthma program.
It is the first time anyone thought about getting the two groups together just for fun.
"It's just important for them to be around other kids and see that other kids are doing the same things they're doing and look just like them," said Debbe Langdon, of the WakeMed pediatric asthma program.
"People who don't know me and I don't know them, they hear that I have diabetes, they try to stay away from me, so they don't get it. But, they don't know anything about it," Moore said.
When children are diagnosed at WakeMed with diabetes or asthma, their families commit to a 12-month educational program. They learn how to manage their disease, which helps them avoid crises that lead to emergency room visits.