10 California school n ews October 2017 resources Raising Awareness of Type 1 Diabetes November is National Diabetes Awareness Month By Debbie George, EASET1D.org “ If our students know the signs and symptoms of T1D, hyper/hypoglycemia, and what to do to help ... they could potentially save a life! Raising awareness will also bring understanding and compassion and help end the stereotypes and bullying that come to students who are different.” —Santiago High School Teacher Erica Holguin have 22 T1D students currently at my school,” she said. “If our students know the signs and symptoms of T1D, hyper/hypoglycemia and what to do to help ... they could potentially save a life! Raising awareness will also bring understanding and compassion and help end the stereotypes and bullying that come to students who are different.” Corona-Norco USD has also helped raise awareness through the dissemination of T1D educational flyers to all K-6 schools and educa-tional posters to all 50 health clerk/nurse offices, as well as posting the information on school websites. EASE T1D, an organization dedicated to spreading awareness about Type 1 Diabetes, recommends the following steps to raise awareness about the disease this November, which is National Diabetes Awareness Month: post educational flyers at school sites and on websites; hang awareness banners; include T1D facts in school communications, such as school newsletters and PA morning announcements; and wear blue, the official color designated to bring awareness to the disease, on Fridays in November and on November 14, World Diabetes Day. Raising awareness about this life-threatening disease can save lives and foster understanding in school communities. On behalf of EASE T1D, I thank you for the opportunity to share our mission of raising awareness about Type 1 Diabetes and hope to see every school site par-ticipate this November. Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic, autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas produces little to no insulin, leaving a person insulin-dependent for life. It cannot be prevented and can affect anyone. Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes is not related to diet or exercise. Alarmingly, Type 1 Diabetes is on the rise, according to a study that examined the prevalence of diabetes in the United States’ pediatric population from 2002–13. That study found an increase of almost 60 percent during that time period. There is currently no cure. For those living with the condition, Type 1 Diabetes affects every aspect of life. It is a careful balancing act of food, exercise and insu-lin, as well as a number of additional factors. Too much insulin can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and should be treated imme-diately with glucose. Not enough insulin can cause high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), which often starts slowly, but can lead to a medical emergency if not treated with insulin. The Corona-Norco Unified School District has made raising aware-ness about Type 1 Diabetes a priority. The district is educating students and staff about the symptoms, which are often mistaken for a virus, and include extreme thirst, frequent urination, weakness/fatigue and weight loss. Last November, Corona-Norco USD partnered with the PADRE Foundation, a Type 1 Diabetes nonprofit organization, to present an educational program about diabetes at two school sites, Citrus Hills Intermediate School and Santiago High School. The PADRE Foundation’s presentations use Youth Leaders who have T1D to educate school communities about the ways living with the disease affects their daily lives, and the challenges they face managing T1D. Erica Holguin, a teacher at Santiago High School, was happy to see the school participate. “Raising awareness in schools about Type 1 Diabetes is important because it mainly affects children and teens. We Resources EASE T1D: www.easet1d.org Beyond Type 1: www.beyondtype1.org JDRF: www.jdrf.org Study: Prevalence of Diabetes and Diabetic Nephropathy in a Large U.S. Commercially Insured Pediatric Population, 2002–2013, American Diabetes Association: goo.gl/kHmAJL. Debbie George is the mother of a son with Type 1 Diabetes who was diagnosed at the age of 2, and Founder of EASE T1D, which stands for Education, Awareness, Support, Empowerment on Type 1 Diabetes. Since her son’s diagnosis, she has made it her mission to raise awareness about the disease and its symptoms.