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Kallih’s Story: Discovering the Best Care for Diabetes

Published by , on Mar 5, 2013

At only one-year old, baby Kallih was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Kim Mapp was afraid of what this would mean for her only daughter, and how it would affect her daily life.We try to balance it from day to day,” said Kallih’s step-dad, Will. “Kallih having diabetes can be hard to deal with, but we are very proud because she handles herself very well. Kallih loves everything. She loves to play outside, and she loves to play with her dog. She’s just full of energy.”Kallih has been receiving care at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU since she was diagnosed. For the past five years Melinda Penn, MD, pediatric endocrinologist, has been Kallih’s doctor. Dr. Penn decided to pursue a career in pediatric medicine because she has type 1 diabetes.Discovering the best care for Kallih“I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my doctor because she’s very good, and we both can experience it because she has diabetes too,” said Kallih. “So we both go through kind of like the same thing except for she’s grown and I’m a little kid.”Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU has a clinic dedicated to type 1 diabetes care and offers support groups for teens and even a diabetes camp for young patients. In many ways Camp WannaCure is just like other summer camps – campers go swimming, make crafts, take field-trips and play games – but they also get to spend time with other children their age who have diabetes. Certified diabetes educators and nurses teach campers how to manage their diabetes and take on new responsibilities including blood sugar checks and managing an insulin pump.Kallih wants other kids who have recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to know that it’s okay.“If you’re a kid that just got diagnosed, all I want to say is, you’re still a normal kid. You can still do everything that you used to do,” said Kallih. “All you have to do is watch what you eat and watch how much insulin you give yourself.”To meet Kallih, watch the full video here or learn more about how she manages her diabetes in her video interview.

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