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Sinclair Cares: Type 1 diabetes

You may think diabetes is a disease that affects mostly older people but in this ‘Sinclair Cares’ report, Jennifer Gilbert explains that Type 1 diabetes, dramatically affects of the lives of many children.

BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

Working in partnership with our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, we want to keep you informed about important health matters.

You may think diabetes is a disease that affects mostly older people but in this ‘Sinclair Cares’ report, Jennifer Gilbert explains that Type 1 diabetes, dramatically affects of the lives of many children.

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Thirteen-year-old Daniel Burns is tough on the soccer field and in life. His toughest opponent is one he’s faced since he was five-years-old.

The challenges began with telltale symptoms.

“The teachers at preschool said, he's really peeing a lot and at first we thought he was just trying to get out of taking a nap,” Daniel’s mom, Carolyn said. “But we listened, and he's really peeing.”

After a visit to the pediatrician Daniel was rushed to the hospital, with a diagnosis that shocked his parents.

Daniel was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes--also known as juvenile diabetes. It strikes one in 400 children and can also start in adulthood. It means that something triggers the body to develop antibodies that destroy the cells that make insulin, a hormone necessary to break down the food we eat, and nourish our bodies.

Recognizing the symptoms early can avoid serious complications.

If a child starts to drink more and urinate more, parents should get them to the doctor, pediatrician or emergency room early on for a checkup.

For Daniel, that trip to the hospital turned into a three-day stay at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, where he and his parents could learn to manage a disease for the rest of his life.

“I remember at first having to practice giving shots through an orange, when I first got diagnosed,” Daniel says.

Now, this 7th grader's life revolves around finger sticks, insulin doses and blood sugar levels. He has to check his blood sugar at least eight times a day and, even with a glucose monitor, it still requires finger sticks.

“I've kind of gotten used to it,” Daniel says. “It's just something I live with.”

It means insulin doses, every time he eats and other times, if his blood sugar is too high. Technology has made things easier; the insulin now administered through a pump instead of shots.

Even though Daniel has missed his share of birthday parties, and sleepovers he has an important message for other kids with diabetes; “Just be yourself, and don't think that you are any different than any other kids.”

Daniel faces his disease with the same perseverance he shows on the soccer field. Taking on a tough opponent, determined to win.

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