I need your help. A year and a half ago my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the cells producing insulin have been attacked and her body no longer makes the insulin it needs to convert food into energy. There is no cure. But through the blessings of modern science, she has the tools she needs to manage her diabetes and lead a fairly normal life.
Despite all the technological advances in this disease, there are times when she becomes hypoglycemic (low blood sugar). When this happens, she needs to test her blood glucose with a tiny drop of blood and then eat a carbohydrate such as candy or drink a juice box. While having low blood sugar a diabetic person can have mild symptoms such as the shakes, sweating or a headache. If the low blood sugar is not immediately treated the person could become confused and disoriented, lose consciousness, have convulsions and slip into a coma. We are lucky that my daughter has never had these severe issues.
Unfortunately, for reasons I can not find any logic in, my daughter has been denied her right to test and treat her low blood sugar in her classrooms at school (despite written doctor instructions). The school nurses prefer that she walks to the nurses office and then test and treat. This not only puts my daughter in a potentially dangerous situation, she is missing valuable class time.
I am currently working with the school to secure the rights for my daughter to manage her own diabetes and to keep her safe. It has been a long and emotionally draining process. This is where I need your help. Senate Bill 509, if passed into law, would give my daughter and other self managing diabetics their common sense right to test and treat hypoglycemia in their classroom. For others, especially younger children, it would provide trained personnel besides school nurses to help them with their individual diabetes management. This bill is so very important to all these children.
The bill is now in the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee. Please take a moment to call or email Senator James Rhodes who it the chair of the committee. We need to urge him to bring this bill to a vote and on its way to become law.
Senator Rhodes can be reached at (717) 787-2637 and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.