Climbing, dancing, track and field athletics – Michel Reinhard of 14 from Kosvig loves movement and sporting challenges. But you have to be careful. In diabetics like her, the effort quickly leads to hypoglycemia. And it can be life-threatening. She knows the risk because she has had this illness for seven years. "Michelle can manage her life very well," says her mother Nadine Reinhard.
If she feels low blood sugar, she needs to rest and take glucose to stabilize blood sugar levels. From peers who do not know the disease, she has already looked. Not today. After all, children and teens who are dealing with riots in her today belong to the Zuckerkids group. All of them have Type 1 diabetes.
"Every two months parents and children meet for such diabetic weekends and fun is the focus on children," says Ralph Tetsner, who heads the group. "Donkey, Indian weekends – we always try to find something exciting for kids, something they do not try every day." It is important that they are a community and do not stand alone with their fate of insulin injection and carbohydrate counting. But parents can also be strengthened. They have the opportunity to exchange and train.
For this commitment, the Ersatzkassen Association recently honored the Zuckerkids at the cost of self-help. There are 3000 Euro attached to it, which "Zuckerkids" can use well. "Our diabetic weekends, we always take children with diabetes from a children's home in Apollo, so you and our children can drive for free," says Ralph Tetsner.
Parents long for the exchange and not despair, as Nadine Reinhard says. Every family has their own experience. "Michelle had to change school because the classmates' parents opposed her injecting into the dining room, we were stunned, and hardly anyone in the modern pens gets this," she says. But that did not help. Now Michelle goes to a private school. Other parents also have problems finding a school or daycare center for their children with diabetes. They even move for it. "The family was not allowed to write down their child because they could not get an integration assistant to remind the child to measure and inject so that his mother stopped working and sat down with her child all day long.
Also, to get care that measures the small ones several times a day and inject, it is impossible. Few existing nurses are fully utilized. And kindergartens today will have so much enthusiasm that they will no longer worry about caring for children, says the group leader. "These are huge cuts for parents." Medical care is the next controversial chapter. "There are so many achievements, such as insulin pumps or gauges that continually control blood sugar, which can really make life easier for children with diabetes, but you have to fight for everything," says Nadine Reinhard.
For months she was in a lawsuit with her health insurance to get an insulin pump. Her daughter had to inject her seven times a day, usually at night. – Try to explain this to your children. And she does not want to complain because Michelle brings her fate for a great reason. But she also knows the parents of the group who have to keep their child together to inject it. It is a torture, and if there is relief there, children will have to get it first without battling attorneys because they have to deal with it all her life, "she says.
"In the group, parents also talk about suitcases strategies that are opposite and courageous, but each family has to fight for itself," says Ralf Tetsner. He always shakes his head when he says you can live well with type 1 diabetes today. – What they really mean, they know only those affected. 78 members currently have "Zuckerkids". In the future, more and more children will suffer from type 1 diabetes. With this metabolic disorder, the body attacks its own insulin cells from the pancreas and destroys them. "Especially among younger children, the number of new cases increases dramatically," says Dr. Ralph Ziegler, President of the Association for Children's Diabetes. "At least four percent more each year," he says. Why? You can only speculate about it. Certain viruses are suspected of confusing the immune system. Genes also played a role, but less than type 2 diabetes. Only in every second type of type 1 diabetes there are other diseases in the family, "says Professor Rüdiger Landgraf of the Munich Diabetes Foundation.
Michelle is the only one in her family with diabetes. She started with her at the age of seven. She is always thirsty, dull, losing weight, often going to go to the bathroom at night and dark circles become longer and longer. "When the pediatrician made the diagnosis, it was a shock," says the mother. If these symptoms occur, insulin-producing cells are already destroyed 80%, said her pediatrician. There is nothing to rotate the process. "You also can not prevent diabetes, the disease is crucial, you have to learn to deal with it," Ziegler says.
Hope for those who have been affected by the success of the University of Dresden. There, babies can be tested immediately after birth to see if they have a specific gene that can stimulate diabetes. Even the diabetes vaccine does not look that far. Children with this genetic modification may receive small doses of insulin to protect the pancreas. "This will make me happy for many other children who are no longer limited by the disease," says Nadine Reinhard.
Unfortunately, the research is too late for today's "Zuckerkids". When most are used to living with their illness, eventual career choices are included. Boy wants to police. It has always been his dream, as his mother says. But like diabetes there may be problems. "Usually there are only very healthy." However, she read about the sentence when a young man with type 1 diabetes complains about his refusal and is right. Then her son immediately applied for an internship. Parents' fight for diabetes probably will not stop for a lifetime. RNW