Johnson County teenager fighting juvenile diabetes

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

Diabetes is considered the most costly chronic disease in the country.

Diabetes Prevention and Control reports that one in ten Kentucky adults are diagnosed with the disease.

Johnson County native Emilee Fairchild was only seven years old when she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.

"It has its moments, it can be hard. But you just have to have self-control and just pay attention to it and it can be really easy," Fairchild said.

She says she has managed the disease well because she checks her blood level twice a day, exercises, and watches what she eats.

Emilee began a mission to fight the disease. She became Kentucky's captain for "Zip the Cure", which is an awareness campaign for juvenile diabetes.

"I couldn't just stop at just having it. I had to get the word out to help find the cure," Fairchild said.

"It's really prevalent and the problem is there's a lot of undiagnosed cases. We want people to be aware of the fact that diabetes does exist," Deirdra Robinson, with the Tri-County Diabetes Partnership, said.

The Tri-County Diabetes Partnership teamed with Zip the Cure to raise money for the cause at the Big Sandy Superstore in Paintsville.

"She energizes our partnership. She makes us want to do good things, and there's a million Emilee's out there. We just have to find them and help all of them be better," Robinson said.

Blood work and glucose levels were tested, and medical professionals gave out information on the disease and how to make tough lifestyle choices to prevent it.

"We have a high rate of obesity in adults and children. Our eating patterns aren't typically that conducive of healthy lifestyles," Robinson said.

Fairchild is proud of what she's done to raise awareness, but will not stop anytime soon.

"I'll do anything to find a cure," Fairchild said.

Some symptoms of juvenile diabetes include extreme thirst, constant drowsiness, and sudden weight loss.

If you want to find out more, or donate to donate to zip the cure, go to the link below.

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