Molly is in 12th grade, this is her 3rd year in Journalism. She manages the varsity football team and she loves to cook. After college she wants to be...
FCHS Welcomes Type 1 Diabetes Club
March 27, 2023
With as many as one in five teens suffering from prediabetes in the United States, it was timely for FCHS to welcome a Type 1 Diabetes Club in the 2023 school year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 18% of 12-18 year-olds are prediabetic, which makes them at risk of developing diabetes. FCHS School Counselor Haden Parrish, a sponsor of the club, said the idea of the FCHS club came from students. “Some of the diabetic students here in the school recognized a need for a space for fellow diabetics and their supporters to gather, share advice, organize awareness events, and empathize with each other,” he said.
“Anyone that is interested in learning more about diabetes and how to support diabetics in their lives” is welcome to attend, said Parrish. “Of course, we would love to welcome any diabetic student who is interested in attending a meeting, but we also anticipate the friends, siblings, etc. of diabetics joining and learning about how they can best support the diabetics they know,” he added.
Parrish can relate to club members because he too, suffers from diabetes.. “I was diagnosed with type one diabetes in 4th grade and largely had to learn about diabetes care on my own. I was the first person in my grade to be diagnosed with diabetes, and even by the time I graduated high school, there was only one other diabetic in my class,” he said.
“Though we weren’t cool enough to have a diabetes club, I remember how critical it was for me to have a small community of diabetics that I would interact with in the school nurse’s office,” Parrish said. “The other diabetics, as well as the school nurse, helped me to better understand the condition that I would have for the rest of my life and allowed me to become a stronger advocate for my fellow diabetics. Especially for diabetics with newer diagnoses, it can be a scary experience, but I want to do what I can to show younger diabetics that our condition does not have to define us and that there is nothing we can’t do (or eat) with a little extra self-care and a vial of insulin,” he added.
What can the club offer a student at FCHS? “The club is still new, but there are three main areas of interest for the club. First and foremost, the club will serve as a space for our members to share their experiences with diabetes, ask for advice, give helpful tips, and otherwise gather with the people who know what it’s like to live with the same condition,” Parrish said.
He also noted that the club plans to fundraise for and participate in advocacy events through organizations like the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“Finally, the club will organize awareness campaigns in the school to help educate non-diabetics about the condition and what it’s like to live with it, as well as the warning signs of diabetes,” Parrish added.
The club meets during club days. For more information about the club, contact Haden Parrish at [email protected].