Fighting diabetes starts with three special nurses

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 nurses have more in common than their career choice.

“I was diagnosed at 16 months old with type 1 diabetes," shared Kate Lucas, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“I was 11 years old,” shared Kelly Alladina, Certified Diabetes Educator, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“I was 8 years old,” shared Jamie Hamilton, Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

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,” explained Kate.

Kate became a pediatric nurse practitioner and says when a child is diagnosed it can be overwhelming. She says, parents, family support is critical.

“Be as involved as possible, even when they don’t want your involvement,” Kate continued.

Kelly was in middle school when she was diagnosed.

“Going back to school and feeling very odd about it, feeling kind of different,” exclaimed Kelly.

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 continued.

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,” shared Jamie.

All three agree on one thing: don’t let diabetes rule your life.

Kate said, “Live your life and just incorporate the diabetes into that.”

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. For more information, please visit https://www.choa.org/medical-services/diabetes.

Contributors to this news report include: Janna Ross, Field Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.

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