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Kaydence McKean Op-Ed: Type 1 Diabetes

Kaydence McKean is a junior at BMU. She was diagnosed with Diabetes when she was 8 years old and hopes to raise awareness for the disease.

I was diagnosed with Diabetes when I was 8 years old. As a Diabetic, I see that there is little awareness across the country, and the number of people who don’t know about Diabetes is disappointing. Children and adults worldwide are altering their lives; they are suffering alone. With the hope of raising awareness as a community, we can persevere together. 

Type 1 Diabetes is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States, according to the CDC. 1 in 5 people have diabetes and don’t even know it. About 8.7 million people are living with T1D right now, and 14 kids and young adults have died from T1D between 2017 and 2019. Not only is awareness important, but knowing the signs and how to tell if someone is experiencing symptoms of T1D is crucial. Many of the signs can look like the flu or a stomach bug, but the key factor is looking at the long-term symptoms. Has your friend or family member been experiencing extreme dehydration and weight loss? Or maybe your sibling has had an extreme decrease in energy and sleep levels. All of these are symptoms of Diabetes.

          People who need more awareness also need access. If we don’t poke and pride for justice how will we ever persevere? People with diabetes deserve to be seen. But, there’s a simple fix. If we can boost the knowledge about Diabetes we can assume big companies will find a way to make money. If Diabetes can be broadcast more, people will know and fewer people will struggle for awareness. Hopefully, over time with donations and events, we can find a cure, so people with diabetes will be able to live long and healthy lives without fear. 

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Although I have struggled immensely with diabetes, it has taught me that awareness is a must. Even a little awareness can make the biggest difference in someone’s life. I encourage everyone to take five minutes out of their day to learn about this disease because the littlest change can make the biggest difference to someone. I hope that in the future, everyone will know what type 1 Diabetes is and how to identify the signs.

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