Kings Beach girl walking to fight diabetes
October 9, 2006
Watching what you eat and counting carbohydrates is what most people do when they want to diet, but for Jesse Morris, those things mean life or death.
Morris, a pony-tailed three-year-old with apple cheeks, has suffered from Type 1 diabetes since she was 18-months old. Daily insulin shots and constant finger sticks is just a way of life for the Kings Beach girl.
“It is normal for her, she doesn’t know anything else,” said Elaine Morris, Jesse’s mother. “She just got an insulin pump, which is making our life more manageable. She wears it in her pocket.”
Elaine Morris said she and her husband, Peter, realized their daughter had diabetes when she had extreme thirst, increased urination and hunger, and so took Jesse to her pediatrician. Her blood sugar level was far above what it should have been for an infant ” to the point where she was about to go into a coma.
“At the time, she had a cold and I thought it was her body flushing out the cold,” Elaine Morris said of the symptoms. “The symptoms are benign. After that, we had to rush her to intensive care in Sacramento for several days.”
After the initial shock, it was just a matter of managing her daughter’s diabetes, Elaine Morris said.
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“For someone who doesn’t know anything about it, it was intensive,” she noted. “You look at food in a different way. You need insulin to keep sugar from getting toxic in her blood.”
In addition to counting carbohydrates, giving her insulin and the finger sticks to check the blood glucose level, Elaine and Peter have to rely on others to help manage their daughter’s disease.
“Karen’s Playschool in Tahoe Vista has been very accommodating and helpful in managing her diabetes,” Elaine said. “It is a challenge to find schooling to help manage diabetes.”
Now that the Morris family has become educated on diabetes and learned to manage Jesse’s care, they are ready to help find a cure.
On Saturday, Jesse and her family and friends participated in the Walk to Cure Diabetes 10k in Reno. They walked to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and want to raise $1,000 by the end of November. The family has already raised $650 through individual contributions and would like others to join the cause.
“It would be great if the people in the community could help out because it is a disease that costs our healthcare system a lot of money,” Elaine Morris said. “It starts at the grassroots level to help find a cure, and if there is any way the community could help out and donate that would be great.”