More than 200,000 children are living with type one diabetes in the United States
There are three young women who have managed the disease since childhood and are now dedicating their lives to helping families dealing with diabetes.
Three nurses have more in common than their career choice.
“I was diagnosed at 16 months old with Type 1 Diabetes,” Katie Lucas says.
“I was 11 years old,” Kelly Alladina says.
“I was 8 years old,” Jamie Cross says.
All three nurses were treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Now they work here helping kids with diabetes.
“The nurses that were at the bedside and helping to take care of me here I knew that’s what I wanted to do when I grew up to make a difference,” Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Kate Lucas says.
Kate Lucas says when a child is diagnosed it can be overwhelming. She also says parents family support is critical.
“Be as involved as possible, even when they don’t want your involvement,” Kate says.
Kelly Alladina, Certified Diabetes Educator was in middle school when she was diagnosed.
“Going back to school and feeling very odd about it, feeling kind of different,” Kelly says.
Kelly coaches parents on new technology that makes managing the disease much easier, such as insulin pumps and glucose sensors.
If the blood sugar goes below 80 it’s gonna alarm, or if it goes above 200 it’s gonna alarm.”
Jamie Hamilton, Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse works with the sickest children in the pediatric intensive care unit admits she was afraid of needles back then.
“For the longest time, I would always want my brother to do my shots,” Jamie says.
All three women agree on one thing and that’s for patients not to allow diabetes to rule their life.
“Live your life and just incorporate diabetes into that,” Kate says.
Kelly, Kate, and Jamie say parents need to be aware of the symptoms of diabetes in children, including extreme thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child seek medical help immediately.
For more information on this, visit www.choa.org.