With an emphasis on fun, diabetes support group grows

2015-05-06 12:28:15 by Public Relations staff, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

Skating-Event_1st-grader-family

A support group for children with diabetes and their parents continues to gain steam in the Mahoning Valley.

The Mahoning Valley D-PACK (Diabetes-Parent Advisory Committee for Kids) held its third event since it formed last fall with a skating party in Warren that drew more than 90 attendees.

Skating-Event_kylee

“The focus is on getting kids together so they don’t feel so isolated. The emphasis is on having fun, but there’s also an education component to it,” said Kevin Glaros, chronic illness program coordinator for Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley. “For the group’s first year I’ve really been amazed at how much our parents have pulled off so far.”

Earlier events included Halloween and bowling parties, and each drew nearly 100 attendees.

Glaros said the food served at the skating party was labeled with its respective carbohydrate counts, and an emphasis was made on understanding portion control and calculating each child’s insulin needs based on the foods they ate.

Most of the support group members have type-1 diabetes and are insulin-dependent. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.

While there's no cure for type 1 diabetes, it can be managed.

The MV-DPACK is an advisory committee comprising parents of children with diabetes, and its first charge was to create a support group. Its next planned event for the children is a swimming party at the Poland Swim Club on Aug. 15.

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