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Dani Learns About Type 1 Diabetes

Dani's Story

Dani with her parents and her dog
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Hi! I'm Dani. Here I am with my parents and my dog, Frank.

I love to play soccer. But not long ago, I wasn't feeling great. I started feeling more thirsty and tired, and I had to pee more often. And it was making it hard for me to play like normal.

I found out that I have type 1 diabetes. I had to learn some new things and make some changes at home and at school. It was tough at first, but now things are better.

Dani imagines herself kicking a goal
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I learned that having diabetes means my body doesn't make insulin. Insulin is a thing that helps turn sugar from food into energy I can use.

I like to use my energy to practice scoring points for my team!

Dani holds up her testing kit
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When I don't have insulin, my body can't use the sugar from food. And that can make me feel sick.

But I learned how to keep my body feeling good and healthy. I pay attention to the foods I eat. I check my blood sugar, and I give my body the insulin it needs.

I have a special kit that has my insulin and all the other things I need. My kit is shaped like a butterfly, and I put stickers on the outside. I take my kit with me everywhere I go!

Dani tests her blood sugar, with dad watching
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Checking my blood sugar and taking insulin took a little time to get used to.

To test my blood, first I poke my finger. Then I put a drop of blood in a little machine that checks how much sugar is in the blood.

Dani gives herself insulin, with dad watching
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After I test my blood, a grownup helps me figure out how much insulin my body needs.

Insulin gets into my body through a shot. The shot has a really small needle. And now that I'm used to the shots, I don't even feel them much anymore.

At first, I needed a grownup to do the finger pokes and shots. But now, after lots of practice, I can do them all by myself! I just need to have a grownup with me.

Dani high-fives a friend outside the nurse's office
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At school, I go to the nurse's office a few times a day to test my blood and take my insulin.

When I started going to the nurse's office so much, some kids wondered why. They were worried about me, because they thought I might be sick.

So I told them about diabetes. And I told them that you can't catch it from somebody else.

Dani and her family eat dinner
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Having diabetes means I am more careful about the food I eat. But it DOESN'T mean I can't have treats. I just have to make healthy choices most of the time. And I have to remember that if I eat some types of food, I might need more insulin.

My family helps me by eating healthy too. We make dinner together, and we all help with the cooking. Frank helps by cleaning up what falls on the floor.

Dani holds her kit on the soccer field, with Kate and Arthur
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I can keep doing all the activities I like to do. Like playing soccer! Because exercise helps me stay healthy too.

Oh! And I learned I'm not the only kid on my team who brings medicine to soccer! Arthur brings his asthma inhaler, and Kate brings her bee sting kit. We help each other remember to bring the things we need when we have practice and games.

That's Dani's story. Now that you know what SHE learned about diabetes, can you think of some things YOU have learned? What do you want your kit to look like? How will you decorate it?

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