Mentorship groups to help patients cope with Type-1 diabetes - KMSP-TV

Mentorship groups formed to help patients cope with Type-1 diabetes

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Flickr/Creative Commons/Jill A. Brown Flickr/Creative Commons/Jill A. Brown

Each day, about 80 people in the United States are diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes -- and they often have a lot of questions. Now, they have a new way to get advice -- through a mentor.

Type-1 diabetes, or T1D, is an autoimmune disease and different from Type-2 diabetes because it can only be controlled through insulin injections and not through changes in diet and exercise.

Those who are recently diagnosed with T1D now can learn how to cope with the help of someone with experience. The JDRF Minn-Dakotas chapter has set up a mentoring program to help people with everyday living questions.

The mentors are not a replacement for doctors and dieticians, but they can offer patients support with coping issues. Emily Greene, a member of the mentoring program, says JDRF currently has about 13 volunteer mentors who either have a child with T1D or have it themselves.

"We connect new families with mentors so that they have a real connection that knows exactly what they're going through, and they can offer some real insight in to dealing with Type-1 diabetes on a day to day basis," said Greene.

JDRF is holding its annual Walk to Cure Diabetes on Saturday, February 23rd at the Mall of America. At the Walk JDRF will have the opportunity for newly diagnosed families to connect.

"Specifically, at the walk, we'll have a reception where new family walk teams can get together, connect with other new families. They can also talk to other JDRF Volunteer staff. It will be a great event," said Greene.

FOX 9's Tim Blotz and Randy Meier have formed a virtual walk team for people to support JDRF. Donations can be made online.


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