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Learn to cope with illness.

PARENTS, grandparents, teachers and doctors can learn more about diabetes this Friday as Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium hosts a special events day in advance of World Diabetes Day on Saturday.

Reaching out to all those who care or work with children with diabetes the aim is to improve knowledge and boost confidence.

The event, organised by the James Cook University Hospital's children's diabetes team, will also enable them to meet others in the same situation.

"Diabetes affects every aspect of a family's life," says Kelly Rowe, specialist nurse for children with diabetes at James Cook University Hospital. "There are implications for everyone from the immediate family to grandparents."

IMPACT: Kelly Rowe The impact goes out still further into nurseries, childminders and schools.

"Diabetes is a serious medical condition, one which the child and family are forced to consider at all times, it is a big responsibility."

Kelly says if not correctly treated it can have devastating consequences.

"Loss of sight, renal damage and loss of limbs, it can be a terrible disease to have if you don't look after yourself properly."

Fortunately there's plenty of research going on and things are moving forward.

World Diabetes Day offers an opportunity to raise awareness and educate people about the condition.

"There are still so many misconceptions," says Kelly. "Many people don't know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2. They assume that your child must have an unhealthy diet. But Type 1 diabetes is just bad luck, there is nothing they could have done to prevent it."

Type 2, however, can be caused by lifestyle habits.

Neither currently have a cure, but the effects of Type 2 can be greatly improved with changes in lifestyle.

Kelly says: "People think that Type 1 is worse, but Type 2 is just as bad. You may not be on injected medication but the risk, if not treated properly, is just as severe."

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IMPACT: Kelly Rowe
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 9, 2009
Words:322
Previous Article:Facts on diabetes.
Next Article:Something for everyone.
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