GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)-- Just the other day we told you about a Montrose nurse who saved a young girl’s life after she had a diabetic episode in the middle of an airline flight.
“Abby, unbeknownst to me, was Type 1 Diabetic. She had been, over the course of the previous week, slowly declining into a diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) episode,” says the girl’s mother, PK Hrezo.
Having Type 1 Diabetes affects thousands of Americans. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) around 40,000 people are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes every year.
Even young kids like 10 year-old Kira Knecht. She was diagnosed just a few months ago, without any warning.
“It was very scary and I was just like, I don’t know what to do,” says Kira.
“She went from 56 lbs. in October to 47 lbs. in April,” says her mother Shannon Knecht.
Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that makes the body unable to produce insulin- a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
“So I’ll eat food with carbs in it and it will add more sugar into my blood and it will bring me back up,” says Kira.
“Her continuous monitor is alarming at night and you have to go feed her and or its high and you have to give her insulin. You worry,” says Shannon.
But Kira’s family says it’s often misunderstood for Type 2 Diabetes. The family says often times people don’t know the difference.
“People kind of look at you like, ‘well don’t feed your kid junk food’. But we don’t, she eats very healthy,” says Shannon.
According to the CDC about 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, with nearly 90% of cases being Type 2... the other 10% being Type 1.Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes both occur when the body cannot properly store and use glucose, which is essential for energy. According to health officials there is no way to prevent Type 1 diabetes, whereas lifestyle factors often do play a role in the development of Type 2.
Thursday was World Diabetes Day, and people like Kira and her family hope to spread awareness.
“A lot of kids who are diagnosed with Type 1 are usually found when they are in DKA, because the symptoms are so subtle,” says Shannon.
World Diabetes Day honors Frederick Banting’s birthday. He discovered insulin 98 years ago.