Elementary students raising diabetes awareness

Author: David Sears, Reporter, dsears@ksat.com
Published On: Nov 02 2012 06:24:39 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

Diabetes is a disease that affects nearly 14 percent of the San Antonio population. It is a disease that does not discriminate, affecting children as well as adults.  

Two elementary school students have taken a lead in raising diabetes awareness and trying to raise money to find a cure. The two girls became a big part of a fundraising effort that included a 5k walk.

Anica Castillo is a 4th grader at Longs Creek Elementary. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was just three years old. 

Now she is the ambassador for her school and school district and is proud to take up the cause.

"I want to be an ambassador of something and I finally am," Castillo said.

Across town is another brave young lady, 10-year-old Aliah Giroux. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes back in 2009. 

Giroux said she was worried about school after she found out she had diabetes.

"I had to go to the nurses office every day before lunch, " Giroux said.

Giroux is now in the 5th grade. Last year, her 4th-grade teacher, Beverly Martinez, befriended her and helped her learn to deal with situations. 

Martinez has been a diabetic for 15 years.  

One major event in Giroux’s life was switching to an insulin pump, something Martinez uses and she helped Giroux adjust to something a little different, but easier in the long run.

"When I got the pump, she helped with knowing what to do with it and how to manage it," Giroux said.

They now call themselves "pump buddies" and will have a life-long relationship.

Part of moving process for Giroux is stepping out of her shell and stepping up for diabetes awareness.

"I think it’s an honor because I get to represent other people with diabetes," she said.