10-year-old offers lessons in dealing with diabetes

10-year-old offers lessons in dealing with diabetes

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 8:46 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Imagine a ten year old forced to prick his finger 20 times a day?

That's what one Eastover Elementary fifth grader has to do to manage his diabetes, and on World Diabetes Day he wants you to know what he goes through in hopes of bringing about a cure
 
It is lunchtime at Eastover Elementary and fifth grader Nick Brannan is getting organized. 
 
There's the usual: drink, chips, fruit and then there's the stuff the 10-year-old uses to prick his finger.

“I just had to check my blood to make sure I’m OK,” he said.

He does it eight times during the school day.
 
“If I don’t, I could pass out and bad things could happen,” he explained. 

Nick was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic just before he started kindergarten.

Mom Colleen says it wasn't easy in the beginning.

“In addition to sending him off to school for the first time, I was sending him off with diabetes,” she expressed. 

Now though, she says it is an old hat to her, to Nick, and even to his teacher, Heather Bacha, who helps Nick track his blood sugar in a daily log.

“What’s beneficial for me is that Nicholas is very self sufficient, so when he is feeling low, he'll kind of let me know and go check his blood sugar,” Bacha explained. 

Best friend and fellow fifth grader, Patrick, is impressed with the way his buddy handles his diabetes.

“He makes it look so easy, but I bet it’s not so easy,” he said.

Nick says a lot of people don't really know what diabetes is.

“They’re like 'dia-uh-what?' if they've never met me,” Nick joked. 

And he likes to help get people educated.

“I just want as many people to know what it is to help find a cure as fast as they can,” Nick explained. 

Mom wants people to know he's like every other kid-- almost.

“Nicholas leads a very normal life; he plays sports, he does everything a 10-year-old boy does. But everything has to be very carefully planned and monitored... I’m so proud of how well he has rallied and managed it because it’s something he’s going to have to deal with for the rest of his life,” his Mother said.
 
Type 1 Diabetes is different from Type 2, which can often be controlled with nutrition and exercise.

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