Beyond Type 1

Beyond Type 1 partners with Miss Idaho 2014

Submittted by Beyond Type 1

Beyond Type 1, a global non-profit organization focusing on education, advocacy, and curing Type 1 diabetes, has announced the newest extension of its DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) awareness campaign and new partnership with the Idaho Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The campaign is aimed at providing lifesaving information about both the symptoms and warning signs of Type 1 diabetes and the dangers of DKA, bringing this information to pediatricians’ offices across the state.

On average, 85,000 people are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes every year in the U.S., and an estimated 41 percent of them are in DKA, a potentially fatal condition, often due to missed or misdiagnosis. DKA is the leading cause of mortality in children with Type 1 diabetes and can contribute to additional life-long complications. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease impacting both children and adults, and means insulin dependence for life. Symptoms of Type 1 in the early stages are frequent urination or extreme thirst. More advanced symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, can often be mistaken for the flu or other illnesses.

Beyond Type 1’s DKA awareness campaign works to educate both parents and doctors on these symptoms and advocates for simple diagnostic testing, ultimately reducing the incidence of new onset DKA and saving lives. Beyond Type 1 partnered with Idaho resident Miss Idaho 2014 Sierra Sandison for the program launch this past January. Diagnosed in 2012, Sandison is a member of Beyond Type 1’s Global Ambassador Council and participated in its cross-country bike ride, Bike Beyond, during summer 2017. She is a fierce advocate for education and raising awareness.

I was lucky to avoid DKA at diagnosis because my family knew the warning signs of Type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately, many do not. If misdiagnosed or left untreated, Type 1 diabetes has the potential to be deadly. Sharing the warning signs of Type 1 diabetes to raise awareness is so important and I am proud to be a part of Beyond Type 1’s DKA campaign,” Sandison said.

Following is a brief Q&A with Sandison.

Q. Why is DKA awareness so important for Idaho?

A. I am passionate about DKA awareness for several reasons. First, because my family was aware of the signs, caught my Type 1 early, and saved us a lot of heartache. My diagnosis was extremely atypical in that I was not even hospitalized. However, especially in small rural Idaho communities, not knowing nor recognizing the signs and lack of diabetes specialists, early/accurate diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes is not as common as we would hope.

That is a huge shame, because diabetes advancements and technology since the 1920s have tremendously transformed the lives of people living with Type 1. Those who may have been given a death sentence 100 years ago can now live full, exciting, long lives. However, an undiagnosed case of Type 1 diabetes in 2018 can result in tragedy. With the things that are now possible for people living with Type 1 diabetes to achieve, and the advancements diabetes care has made, our ability to be able to diagnose it early and accurately must improve as well.

Q. What is next for you?

A. I spent last summer biking from New York City to San Francisco as a member of Team Bike Beyond. Other than that, I am focusing on school for the next few years. I am majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in biomedical engineering. I am hoping to work on improving diabetes medical devices and helping create new ones. I am also continuing to speak at diabetes conferences on the occasional weekend.

Q. What are ways people can become involved with Beyond Type 1?

A. There are a ton of ways to get involved. You can join the Beyond Type 1’s DKA campaign, become an ambassador, write a story and join the instagram wall. You can also find out more through our site, www.beyondtype1.org.

Beyond Type 1 was founded in 2015 by Nick Jonas, Juliet de Baubigny, Sarah Lucas, and Sam Talbot, and is a new brand of philanthropy leveraging the power of social media and technology, changing what it means to live with a chronic disease. For more information on Beyond Type 1 and the DKA awareness campaign, visit BeyondType1.org/Our-DKA-Campaign.

Idaho Family Magazine