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Diabetes Doesn’t Slow Down Tyrone Senior

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Diabetes Doesn’t Slow Down Tyrone Senior

Diabetes has not slowed down Tyrone senior Ethan White. He played one of the lead roles in last year's production of Beauty and the Beast.

Diabetes has not slowed down Tyrone senior Ethan White. He played one of the lead roles in last year's production of Beauty and the Beast.

Todd Cammarata

Diabetes has not slowed down Tyrone senior Ethan White. He played one of the lead roles in last year's production of Beauty and the Beast.

Todd Cammarata

Todd Cammarata

Diabetes has not slowed down Tyrone senior Ethan White. He played one of the lead roles in last year's production of Beauty and the Beast.

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Every day millions of people are affected by an autoimmune disease known as diabetes. According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 29.1 million people in the United States live with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes.

The most common form of diabetes is type 2. 90-95 percent of diabetics have type 2. About 5-10 percent of diabetics have type 1.

While type 2 is often associated with older people, type 1 is more common in children and teenagers. This is the form of the disease faced by several students at Tyrone High School.

Rates of new diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are increasing among youth. According to a 2017 study, about 208,000 people younger than 20 years are living with diagnosed diabetes.

“We have five diabetic students between both the middle and high school,” said Tyrone school nurse Tracy Miller.

Senior Ethan White is one of those students.

White was first diagnosed in 2009 at the age of eight, but it has not slowed him down in achieving his goals.

He is one of the most accomplished musicians in the school and earns grades that consistently put him near the top of his class. White performs in all of the Tyrone bands, has had large roles in several musical productions and is an accomplished concert singer who has qualified for regionals for chorus.

Like many diabetic teens, the biggest impact the disease has had on White is his diet.

Ethan White and his parents on senior night.

Brandon Escala
Ethan White and his parents on senior night for the band.

“I have to be conscience of what I eat. I try to eat less dessert,” said White.

The elevated amounts of sugar in sweets tend to cause the blood sugar to rise. Normally the pancreas would give insulin to help combat the large amounts of sugar, but the immune system of a type one diabetic like Ethan attacks the pancreas causing it to no longer regulate blood sugar in the body.

Sweets affect the blood sugar in different ways and the impact on the blood sugar can be controlled with some sweets using insulin.

The holidays are one of the most strenuous times of the year for some diabetics, since each diabetic reacts differently to the diverse range of sweets.

The recent technological advances in treatment for diabetics has drastically changed, due to the invention of the insulin pump in the early to late 1970’s.

Today many type 1 diabetics use an insulin pump rather than injections since it only has to be changed every so often.

“I have a pump but I change it every three days,” said White.

For most newly diagnosed diabetics their opinions of the first year after diagnosis varies. Ethan described the first year as difficult.

“It was pretty hard because I didn’t want to do [the injections],” said White. However, Ethan is involved in many extracurricular activities, and if someone did not know that he was diabetic they could never tell.

One thing Ethan would like a newly diagnosed child or their parents to know is “it gets better with time and soon enough the child will be independent,” said White.

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About the Writer
Cliff Roberts, Staff Writer

Howdy, my name is Clifford Roberts,or Cliff if you know me. I am a freshman and have lived in Tyrone for 3 years. I have four dogs named Lilly, Sadie,...

1 Comment

One Response to “Diabetes Doesn’t Slow Down Tyrone Senior”

  1. Nick on January 8th, 2019 3:39 pm

    Love this, go Ethan

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