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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Diabetes in Children Gets Tremendous Boost

Diabetes in children issue gets help from this great resource not only for the child with diabetes but also for the parents and caretakers who have to look after him. Not only will the child get a toy in Rufus the Bear but also he will get a monitor and diabetes bracelet and other materials. The only thing that bugs me with this is that the child in order to qualify will have been diagnosed only in the last three months.

It is confusing and somewhat scary to learn your child has type 1 diabetes. It is not easy to explain this to the child especially if you have to teach him about blood testing, proper eating habits and injections. Thank goodness for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Illinois which has developed a tool to help educate children and their families.

This tool is called the Bag of Hope which contains a lot of materials that help those who take care of diabetic children. This bag is in the form of backpacks that are given free to children who have been diagnosed with diabetes. And get this, it is only for those who have been diagnosed in the past 3 months.

Here's what the backpack contains:

Rufus Comes Home Book
A stuffed toy called Rufus, the Bear with Diabetes
A booklet regarding carbohydrate counting and healthy habits, entitled "A First Book for Understanding Diabetes."
A keychain digital watch and compass
A DVD on "You Can't Catch Diabetes from a Friend"
Accu-Chek® Aviva Compact Blood Meter.

Carol Cramer created Rufus the Bear in 1996. She created this two years after her son Brian who was three years old then was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. To help children know about the sites for injection and how to rotate them, Carol placed patches on Rufus arms, tummy, bottom and legs.

The fun part for the children is when they pretend to give Rufus an injection. There are also red patches on both sides of Rufus paws so that a child can pretend to check his blood glucose. Rufus also always wears a Medic Alert bracelet. Read more diabetes facts at this site.

"Rufus Comes Home" is about a young boy named Brian who is type 1 diabetic. This was inspired by the Rufus the Bear creation. The story tells of Brian's mother who made the Rufus for him so that Brian will learn to come to know about his diabetes.

H. Peter Chace, M.D. wrote the "A First Book for Understanding Diabetes". Dr. Chace was the past executive of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Denver, Colorado. He is also the clinical director and the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from JDRF.

The mission of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Illinois (JDRF Illinois) is to find a diabetes cure through supporting research. To find a cure for the complications is also part of its mission. This organization is amazing because it provides education and support for families and those who have type 1 diabetes.

JDRF Illinois is the highest grossing chapter in the country. They have events like The Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes where they raise funds to be able to accomplish their mission. They also have the Chance of Lifetime Gala. Annually, JDRF Illinois contributes $14 million to fund research that will find a cure to type 1 diabetes and its complications. Certainly, it's great help to solve the challenges of diabetes in children.

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