Granddaughter shares story of life with diabetes

Monday, May 12, 2003

OMAHA -- A collection of stories about children dealing with juvenile diabetes includes comments from the granddaughter of a McCook couple.

Megan Stuart of Omaha, the granddaughter of Walt and Jean Sehnert of McCook, told her story for the "2003 Children's Congress Yearbook," printed by Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.

The organization is dedicated to finding a cure for juvenile diabetes, and will lobby Congress in Washington, D.C. June 22-24, to raise awareness about diabetes and increase Congressional support for diabetes research.

Megan's mother, Susan Sehnert Stuart, said, "We are looking forward to talking with our representatives in Washington, D.C., and with other families who are dealing with juvenile diabetes."

Megan was diagnosed when she was four years old -- 10 years ago. "When I got diabetes, my life changed drastically," she writes. "I had to begin testing my blood sugar around six times a day and take three shots of insulin each day."

Megan's life is more flexible with an insulin pump, but she says she still hates lots of things about having diabetes. "Before I can go play volleyball, I have to test my blood sugar and eat a snack. Sometimes during practice and games, I get low and have to stop whatever I'm doing to treat myself."

Megan worries about complications such as blindness, kidney failure and heart problems. Megan writes: "This really bothers me because it's not our fault that we have diabetes. We didn't do anything to cause diabetes. We were just being kids, and it's changed our whole lives."

Megan concludes: "The cure is very close, but we need more support so we can speed up the process. Having a cure for diabetes would help so many people across the world."

Other Nebraskans included in the yearbook are brothers Alex and Eric Bonnes and Alyxandria Harter, all of Omaha.

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