Living With Diabetes

Riley poses for a photo.

November is Diabetes awareness month, and there are a few students at Huntley High School who live with diabetes.

There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin, which is a necessary hormone that converts food’s nutrients into energy, and is most common in children. Type 1 is currently incurable.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes sugar. This is more common in adults and can be cured.

Riley poses for a photo.
Riley poses for a photo. (Photo courtesy of N. Simmons)

Leeann Riley, a junior at HHS, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes around the Christmas of 2009.
When she wakes up in the morning, she has to make sure her blood sugar is at a safe level to drive. Throughout the day, she has to check her blood sugar to make sure it doesn’t go too high or too low, and take insulin before she eats any meal.

“Most of the time my blood sugar is really high, and it’s hard to take care of some days,” says Riley. “There isn’t much else you can do about it.”

It’s a matter of life or death, sometimes.

“What’s my next move going to determine?” Riley. “Am I staying home or going to the hospital?”

Being a huge advocate for diabetes awareness, Leeann suggests that people educate themselves on the topic of diabetes and wear the color blue during the month of November as Nov. 14 is International Diabetes Awareness Day. It is also important that people go out and get checked if they are experiencing symptoms.

“It’s important that we raise awareness, as it it is becoming more prominent in today’s society,” said Riley. “The disease itself is more life threatening if you don’t take care of it. For instance, I went to the doctor once and he said if I came in a day later, I would be dead.”

For more information on diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association website at:

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Noah Simmons
Noah Simmons is a first year staff writer for The Voice and Noah is an energized and passionate student who has a strong love for the arts and literature. One of his friends will occasionally refer to him as a "renaissance man" or someone who is skilled in many art forms. He enjoys acting, occasionally sings, reading and playing video games.


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