2003-10-24 / Community

Juvenile Diabetes Fundraiser, 11/13

By Brendan Brosh
Juvenile Diabetes Fundraiser, 11/13 By Brendan Brosh

Juvenile Diabetes is a growing problem in Rockaway as well as in the nation as a whole.

To address that problem, Beach Properties and Management, Inc. is sponsoring a fundraiser to benefit the Peninsula Hospital Diabetes Treatment Center for Children and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The dinner to be held at the Beach Club on November 13 will include an open bar, auction and raffles.

Event organizers are seeking to add a Pediatric Endocrinology unit to Peninsula’s new diabetes center.

"There is no hospital capable of dealing with juvenile diabetes in Rockaway," said organizer Tina Lopez, a Rockaway resident. "Pediatric Endocrinology is a specialized field and children from Rockaway have to go to Cornell Medical Center or Long Island Jewish."

In the event of an emergency, Rockaway parents have to drive at least forty-five minutes to the nearest hospital capable of treating diabetic children. Currently, Peninsula’s two-month old diabetes center is only equipped to treat diabetics 16 years and older.

Lopez, whose daughter Alexis was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, also hopes to establish a support group for diabetic children and their parents in Rockaway.

"There are families in Rockaway with diabetic children and we’re going through the same thing together," said Lopez.

Daughter Alexis has a new bond with her father, Daniel Lopez. Less than two weeks ago, Mr. Lopez was diagnosed with diabetes. Now they check their blood sugar together and bike together daily on the boardwalk.

As Halloween approaches, diabetic children must take extra precautions. "Alexis can’t pop candy like the other kids," said Mrs. Lopez. "Parents and children know that one mini Reese’s peanut butter cup is one unit insulin."

Children with diabetes need at least five blood tests a day and a structured diet. Early warning signs for juvenile diabetes include constant thirst, bed-wetting and general disinterest. With proper care, however, children with diabetes can grow up to lead normal adult lives.

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