Freshman Lillian Kaye Manages Diabetes With Support of Family

Freshman Lillian Kaye Manages Diabetes With Support of Family

Ava Vande Corput, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Seven years ago, Notre Dame Academy freshman Lillian Kaye was diagnosed with type one diabetes, an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.

Insulin is necessary to the body because it is a hormone needed to allow sugar to enter the cells and produce energy for the body.

Until the fifth grade, Kaye had been taking about five shots daily for insulin because her body no longer produced it, and, in addition to the shots, she had to poke her finger about seven times a day to test her blood sugar.

“However, I now have an insulin pump that pumps the insulin into me, as well as a Continuous Glucose Monitor,” said Kaye.

Not only does the freshman deal with diabetes on a day-to-day basis, but she also is involved with an organization called the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or JDRF.

JDRF is a foundation that funds research to provide new therapies and treatments to help transform the lives of people living with type one diabetes.

“I was a youth ambassador for this program in the 7th grade, and my ‘job’ was to deliver speeches for JDRF. I have applied twice for a chance to go to Congress and tell them how diabetes affects so many people’s lives as well as tell them about the importance of finding a cure for diabetes,” she explained.

In addition to being involved with JDRF, Kaye also has been asked to participate in trials such as “How Does Diabetes Affect Teenagers Sleep.”

Kaye also does her projects such as creating a model of an artificial pancreas or spending a week testing her family’s blood sugars to see how artificial insulin is different than regular insulin.

“Diabetes can appear to be simple, but there is so much more than what people can see. I have been to the ER multiple times for something as simple as forgetting to dose for a cup of juice,” said Kaye.

Even though Kaye does have to live with diabetes on a daily basis, it does not stop her from participating in the activities she loves, such as being a part of the NDA dance team.

“Diabetes has affected everyone around me, especially my family, but I have been able to manage everything just fine with the help and support of my family who has been there through it all,” she said.