Atlanta nurses share stories of fighting childhood diabetes
ATLANTA, Ga. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- More than 200,000 children are living with Type 1 diabetes in the U.S. Meet three young women who have managed the disease since childhood and are now dedicating their lives to helping families dealing with diabetes.
These three Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta nurses have more in common than their career choice.
“I was diagnosed at 16 months old with Type 1 diabetes," said pediatric nurse practitioner Kate Lucas.
“I was 11 years old,” said certified diabetes educator Kelly Alladina.
“I was 8 years old,” said pediatric intensive care nurse Jamie Hamilton.
All three were treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Now they work here helping kids with diabetes.
“The nurses that were at the bedside and helping to take care of me here I knew that’s what I wanted to do when I grew up to make a difference,” Kate said.
Kate became a pediatric nurse practitioner and says when a child is diagnosed it can be overwhelming. She says support from parents and family is critical.
“Be as involved as possible, even when they don’t want your involvement,” she said.
Kelly was in middle school when she was diagnosed, which she said left her “feeling kind of different.”
Now a certified diabetes educator, Kelly coaches parents on new technology that makes managing the disease much easier, such as insulin pumps and glucose sensors.
“If the blood sugar goes below 80 it’s gonna alarm, or if it goes above 200 it’s gonna alarm,” Kelly said.
Jamie works with the sickest children in the pediatric intensive care unit and admits she was afraid of needles back then.
“For the longest time, I would always want my brother to do my shots,” Jamie said.
All three agree on one thing: don’t let diabetes rule your life.
“Live your life and just incorporate the diabetes into that,” Kate said.
Kelly, Kate and Jamie say parents need to be aware of the symptoms of diabetes in children, including extreme thirst, frequent urination and weight loss. If you notice any of these symptoms in your child seek medical help immediately. More information on diabetes is available at the hospital's website.
Contributors to this news report include: Janna Ross, Field Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.