High school student uses disease to inform others

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Nearly twenty-million people in the United States have diabetes. But, even more shocking, there are another seven-million that do not know yet.

March 22nd is American Diabetes Alert Day.

Chelsea Walker found out she was a Type 1 diabetic at the age of nine.  "I displayed the symptoms and my parents knew nothing about diabetes because no one in our family had it. We just thought I was getting sick."  Her symptoms were weight loss, unquenchable thirst and being very irritable. "I was really irritable. I was mean. They tested me and from then on it has been almost like a roller coaster."

Walker, now a senior at Harris County High, is using her disease to inform others of the symptoms and the importance of getting tested. "It is better to live in acknowledgement than die in ignorance."

Walker used her resources as the school's year book editor and her passion for diabetes awareness to create a magazine. A feature article breaks down everything you need to know about the disease and encourages people to get tested. "I don't think it is anything to be ashamed of."

The reality is that almost two million new cases of diabetes were found in 2010. But, catching the disease early or when you are borderline hyperglycemic can keep you from having to prick your finger or give yourself shots every day. Many people can control Type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise.

As for Walker, she will continue to fight against diabetes and for people to know more about the disease that has changed her life.

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