GOSHEN – When members of John S. Burke Catholic High School’s newly formed Key Club heard that November is Diabetes Awareness Month, they wanted to do something to show support for their fellow students coping daily with the disease.
Since one such student, Heath Hoovler, is the Burke Catholic Varsity Football Team’s quarterback, Saturday’s state quarterfinals game against Albertus Magnus High School seemed like the perfect place to do so.
“We decided to encourage the student section to go blue for diabetes awareness,” said Key Club President Sarina Howe. “It was a great way to visibly show support for Heath and all other people suffering with diabetes both in our school and around the world.”
And visible it was! Not only did the students in the stands dress in blue, they also wore blue glow bracelets since the game took place on Saturday evening under the lights at Dietz Stadium in Kingston. The cheerleaders and many parents took part in the “Go Blue for Diabetes” awareness effort as well.
When Hoovler saw the fans donned in blue, he said he was kind of taken off guard because he didn’t expect it, but he said, “It was awesome to see people support diabetes. People think there’s only one type and that’s Type 2, but there are also a lot of people with Type 1, so the more people understand the better off everyone is.”
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. T1D seems to have a genetic component and can be diagnosed early in life but also in adulthood. Its causes are not fully known, and there is currently no cure. People with T1D are dependent on injected or pumped insulin to survive. (Source: JDRF.org)
The Key Club hung awareness posters along the walls of Burke Catholic’s halls with facts about Type 1 Diabetes to raise awareness. And a petition was circulated encouraging students to avoid eating added sugar in observance of November 14 as World Diabetes Day.
“Students were eager to sign the petition to show their support of those who cope with diabetes each and every day,” said Howe. “We hope this effort increases awareness while we continue to hope and pray for a cure.”