"The Silent Diabetes"

By Jessica Toumani

May 28, 2010 Updated Jun 29, 2011 at 3:46 PM EDT

Some would call it 'the silent diabetes.' Those diagonsed are often under the age of fifteen, and seemingly healthy, but juvenile diabetes can have some serious consequences. Jessica Toumani reports.

"On the outside, to everyone else, he looks fine. You would never know he has a life- threatening illness that takes management , 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," says Nicole Hansen.

Her son, Seth, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was just two years old. Shots, blood tests, and constant responsibility many adults couldn't handle, became a part of his normal life.

Seth now wears an insulin pump, a relatively pain-free alternative to shots, but one that takes a lot of monitoring.

"After you eat a meal, instead of giving shots, you take out your pump put in your blood sugar then put in how much carbs you had, shows you how much insulin to give, so instead of giving shots, just goes right in," explains 10-year-old, Seth.

Seth and his mom are preparing for the Walk to Cure Diabetes, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's biggest fundraiser. Her goal this year? To raise more than 350 thousand dollars towards a cure and to educate.

Juvenile diabetes isn't the same diabetes you commonly hear about, it's not a result of poor diet or exercise habits, flu-like symptoms are part of the onset. It's an auto- immune disease that can't be undone or outgrown.

"What's the scariest thing that's ever happened to you?" we asked Seth.

" One time I had a seizure, I was like technically blind, i couldn't move and my mom had to call 911 and it was about a two hour thing."

" How did that make you feel afterwards?"

"I was really scared, didn't want to go to sleep the next night," Seth replied.

Our own Jessica Toumani can relate to Seth's scary moment, she has been a diabetic sinch she was five years old. She's given about four shots a day for the past eighteen years.

That's what the Walk to Diabetes ultimately aims to put an end to.

"I think it's important to raise money so kids like my other two cousins and all the other kids like this can find a cure," Seth adds.

Even if you haven't signed up yet, you can still join the Walk to Cure Diabetes, registration starts Saturday Oct. 7th at Franke Park at 10 AM.


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