BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – The number of children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is on the rise.
Now, a medical center in Williston is raising money to help families afford expensive supplies.
Reigan Burch is your typical second grader.
The tooth fairy makes trips to her home and she loves playing outside.
But last year, was a different story.
“I was a couch potato,” said Reigan Burch.
“She was drinking a lot of water and just really lethargic. She kind of lost her personality and we took her to the clinic on the very last day of first grade,” said Kate Burch, Reigan’s mom.
The diagnosis? Type 1 diabetes.
With no family history, Kate and her husband Dustin were shocked.
“It was awful because it’s, there’s no cure,” said Reigan. “And it changes your whole life completely. , It was a huge learning curve and it was really scary and it was really sad to know that this was going to be the rest of our life.”
That’s when they turned to CHI St Alexius Health in Williston.
With Deb Bronson as the diabetes educator, they were able to get Reigan a pump that alerts them through their cell phones that their blood sugar is low and they joined a child support group.
“And so having, you know, somebody there, that’s an expert that can help us really that amazing even being in such a rural town. Right. I mean, we’ve had all the resources that we’ve needed, so it’s been great,” said Dustin Burch.
Now, CHI St. Alexius Health is planning a 5k run and walk in June to help families like the Burch’s.
“Diabetes is a very expensive disease to have, but we have programs out there that can help whether it’s insulin or if we need to, I always have extra insulin in my fridge,” said Deb Bronson, Diabetes Educator at CHI St. Alexius Health . “We always have extra sensors. We try to keep extra sets for her insulin pumps that they use.”
All the money raised stays local. It will go directly to families in Williston who, even with insurance, have difficulty affording diabetes care.
“You know, at least annually, you need to get, make sure that your teeth are in good shape. And then also you need to get an A1C done, which is a lab draw that tells you how your blood sugars are running. And those tests are expensive for people,” said Bronson.
The medical center is hoping to raise twenty thousand dollars to continue to help people like Reigan live long, fulfilling lives.
The 5k race will be held on Saturday, June 4 at Spring Lake Park.
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