Oct 10, 2012 10:57 AM by KSBY News, Carina Corral
A walk to end diabetes is taking place this weekend in Santa Barbara.
Nearly 26 million, or eight percent of the population, has diabetes.
About 215,000 of them are under the age of 20, but pediatricians will tell you type 1 diabetes is affecting more and more kids; although, the case numbers cannot be explained.
"I'm going to test my blood now," said ten-year-old Gweneth Stewart of San Luis Obispo who is a type one diabetic as she took us through the process checking how much sugar is in her blood.
"And then I go like this and then I get some blood. It's kinda gross, but still," chuckled Gweneth as she pricked the tip of her finger with a needle to draw a tiny drop of blood.
She then dabbed her blood on a test strip that was already inserted in a meter. "I'm 177, so I'm going to have to get some insulin because I'm trying be between 70 and 150."
Gweneth goes through this process every two to three hours or every time she eats or every time she exercises.
" I have to check before running around and eat carbs so I don't burn all the sugar cause if I do I will pass out," she said.
She was diagnosed nearly two years ago when her mother noticed Gweneth was always thirsty, tired and urinated frequently.
What was scary at first has now become a part of life.
"That was so emotional at first to make your child bleed to test her blood is now just something that we do," said Elaine Stewart.
As with most diabetics, Gweneth's pancreas creates little or no insulin which is what ours bodies use as fuel, measured as blood sugar levels. It is in a constant state of flux, for which there is no cure.
"That's a hard thing to tell your child that they have something that's never going to get better until the cure and we definitely have hope for that," said Elaine.
That's what this coming up weekend aims to do: bring families together, like the Stewarts, who will walk toward a common goal of ending type one diabetes.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk is this Saturday, October 13, at Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara.
Registration is still open and you can also click here donate on-line.
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