Community News

Plea to live like a normal child

Just imagine… a normal active 12-year-old kid not being able to live carefree like her friends, always having to be careful about what she does or eat due to a life-threatening and chronic disease.

Shanique Sam (12) is a normal, lively grade 6 learner at Sabie Primary, but having been diagnosed at the tender age of 4, for the past 8 years she has to live daily with Diabetes Type 1. This condition cannot be cured and requires 24/7 management. “Type 1 diabetes means that my pancreas does not produce any insulin into my body to break down the sugar and fats. I need to test my blood sugar 5 times a day by pricking my finger with a sharp needle and inserting a drop of blood into a machine to see how much insulin is needed, and then inject myself if necessary.

I cannot eat what other children eat, due to danger thereof, although I would love to. There is another option that can make life safer and easier for me. It is a pump that automatically adjusts the amount of insulin it gives you. A signal is sent every 5 minutes to the pump then reacts by increasing or lowering the amount of insulin it injects directly into a valve planted under my skin. Just imagine no more pain having to prick my finger every day and not having to inject insulin,” said Shanique.

Mommy Christine van Wyk said that “Careful and correct food choices have to be made daily, to ensure her blood level remains constant. For young children like Shanique, tedious tasks monitoring all the time can cause to make them feel ‘different’ from their classmates. So besides the too high or too low counts that always poses a danger, the psychological effect of well-being can also be compromised. We have to monitor her blood sugar during the night, causing her to lose sleep as well. An insulin pump would change her life, but it is extremely expensive. A special Fun bike ride will be held (see advert) to assist with fundraising for Shanique. Should you prefer to donate money instead of attending, please feel free to do so. The estimated price of the pump is R60 000, excluding the monthly insulin, and we appreciate every contribution.

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