The battle with diabetes: a message from JCPS

1 year 10 months 4 weeks ago Tuesday, February 27 2018 Feb 27, 2018 Tuesday, February 27, 2018 4:54:00 AM CST February 27, 2018 in News
By: Chelsea Haynes, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY – Just before the end of 2017, Jefferson City Public Schools diagnosed four cases of Type 1 Diabetes. Unfortunately, one boy did not survive his diagnosis. Now, two girls want to share their story and bring awareness to the disease.

Twin sisters Emily and Allison Theissen were both diagnosed with the autoimmune disease at six and eight years old, respectively.

The pain, the confusion, the anxiety and the fear were some of the many emotions they have dealt with over the past few years. As they look back and reflect on life with diabetes, they both can agree that loving their disease was a learning curve.

“I thought I was a freak,” said Emily Theissen, the first twin to be diagnosed as a first grader, in 2012. “I thought God had been mad at me,” she said.

Her sister, Allison, said her signs and symptoms came a few years later, but instead of wetting the bed like Emily, she kept going to the bathroom as if she had a urinary tract infection.

“I never knew how important my pancreas was,” said Emily Theissen.

But since their diagnoses’, the two have not only shared the frustrations of a type one diabetic, but the same love and encouragement for each other.

“When Allison was first diagnosed, she was mind-blown,” Emily began, but “I reminded her that it was okay.” Emily said at that point, she had the disease for almost a year and a half, and remembers showing her sister how to take the necessary precautions that needed to be monitored on a daily basis.

“Our parents were so amazed,” Allison recalled.

Now, the girls want to remind viewers and readers of the signs and symptoms of the disease, before they become detrimental, if young students like themselves have the disease.

Their school nurse, Tracy Frank, is on board with their plan and encourages parents to understand the signs and symptoms of type one diabetes. Frank said some of the most common symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes are:

  • Urination
  • Irritability
  • Tiredness
  • Dry Mouth/Thirsty
  • Constant Eating w/ No Weight Gain

Frank encourages parents everywhere to be in tune with your child. “The nausea, the vomiting, the sweats and the fatigue,” Frank started, can all mirror viral symptoms, especially during the cold and flu season. In those cases Frank mentioned, “You’re not necessarily thinking of Type 1 Diabetes.”

Frank is more often than not juggling seven diabetic patients, along with the rest of the student body, but said there’s a great safety net at the school.

“The teachers are all in tune on what to watch for,” she began, and mentioned most of the diabetic students at her school carry their meters with them in class, so they can check their blood sugar levels.

Frank said listening to the Theissen twins share their story was a friendly reminder that they still battle the social aspect of their disease every single day.

“It’s so easy to forget because you see them every single day, and they become a part of your life,” Frank said as her eyes began to water. “They may sometimes feel separate from other students, but I don’t see them in that light.”

The Theissen twins compared their diabetes story to a deck of cards.

“It’s the hand that God dealt us,” Allison Theissen said. “I always thought of the diabetes card as a curse, more than a blessing, but now that I’m older, I finally understand it’s a blessing.”

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA- Singing, dancing, and speaking were all part of The Cultural Association of India's annual India Day celebration Saturday afternoon.... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 5:05:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA— Officers with the University of Missouri Police Department arrested John T. McLiney, 19, on one count of... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 4:00:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri is holding its 5th Annual Unity Concert. The goal of the event... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:53:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
FULTON - About 20 Fulton YMCA members kicked the cold Saturday by bundling up and running in the 4th annual... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:48:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE — The third annual Superfinn Autism Foundation Guns and Hoses Event was hosted at Boonville High School Saturday. ... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:10:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA- More than 100 people showed up for the 7th annual ROC 7K Trail run at Cosmo Park Saturday morning.... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:04:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Dozens of veterans showed up to All American Dental for free dental work Saturday. Leroy Strube, a... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 2:04:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Como Shorts Filmmaker Showcase hosts multiple local artists this weekend to present their films. The showcase... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 1:54:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The CoMo Short Showcase highlights local filmmakers and their original work in the community. The goal is... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 4:45:00 AM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A hearing has been set for Joseph Elledge on Feb. 3 at 3:00 p.m. at the Boone County... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 8:02:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE – With the closing of Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Boonville, it will likely take longer for emergency officials to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 7:50:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE (AP) - Missouri is planning to cut more than 1,700 beds at prisons across the state. Department of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 6:47:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
GUTHRIE TOWNSHIP - Deputies have one suspect in custody in a murder investigation. The Callaway County Sheriff's Office said there... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 5:41:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Students avoided slick roads after the University of Missouri closed campus on Friday. The school alerted students... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 2:07:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After a heavy snow fall Thursday night, Susan Stephenson received notifications that Columbia Public Schools would not be... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 1:28:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia Public Works Street Division will start plowing and treating all city streets at 1... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 12:08:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone Electric Cooperative is reporting outages affecting nearly 5,000 customers Friday morning. The outages are reported across... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 10:22:00 AM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Officials with University of Missouri announced campus is closed Friday due to weather. The university earlier announced a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 5:29:00 AM CST January 24, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 28°
11pm 28°
12am 28°
1am 28°
2am 28°