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Sinclair Cares: Living with Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes dramatically affects of lives of many children and their families, including 13-year-old patient – and soccer player – Daniel Burns.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

Working in partnership with our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, we want to keep you informed about important health matters.

We believe it's our responsibility and privilege.

You may think that diabetes is a disease that affects mostly older people, but in tonight’s Sinclair Cares report, "type one" diabetes, dramatically affects of lives of many children and their families, including 13-year-old patient – and soccer player – Daniel Burns.

“I kind of think of it like I’m a normal kid, which I am,” Daniel said.

He has Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, which strikes 1 in 400 children, and can also start in adulthood.

“Nobody 100 percent understands why the body does this, so it's not that somebody ate too much candy and not enough broccoli,” said Dr. Debra Counts, pediatric endocrinologist based in Baltimore, Md.

But something triggers the body to develop antibodies that destroy the cells that make insulin, a hormone necessary to break down the food we eat, and nourish our bodies.

“Without insulin, basically the cells of your body are starving,” Counts said.

Recognizing the symptoms early can avoid serious complications.

“So if a child starts to drink more and urinate more, hopefully their mom notices early on and gets them to the doctor, pediatrician or emergency room early on in the course,” Counts said.

Daniel spent 3 days at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, where he and his parents could learn to manage a disease for the rest of his life.

“The responsibility that Daniel has to keep himself healthy and alive each day is just unbelievable that we ask that of a kid,” said Daniel’s father, Marty Burns.

Even though Daniel has missed his share of birthday parties, and sleepovers, he has an important message for other kids with diabetes.

“Just be yourself,” he said, “and don't think that you are any different than any other kids.”

Here's some positive news:

There is a lot of research working on a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

And there are some promising clinical research trials. Many experts are hopeful we could see a cure in our lifetime.

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