JDRF Walk

Anna Hartline, 13, front, of Fort Calhoun, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two years ago. She and her family have participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk since 2019.

One Fort Calhoun family understands what it's like dealing with a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis.

Despite that, Anna Hartline, 13, has stayed strong and positive.

Anna was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two years ago.

Lisa Hartline, Anna's mom, said she has diabetics in her family, but never thought it would reach her daughter.

"We didn't understand why she was feeling sick, but then her blood was at point of emergency," she said.

Anna said the day she was diagnosed, she had the flu and strep throat, and was 24 hours away from going into a diabetic coma due to her high blood sugar.

"I was taught in the hospital how to give myself shots, and how it'll be harder or different for a kid," she said. "It's been an on-and-off battle, and some kids with diabetes have problems managing their insulin.”

Since the diagnosis, Lisa said it's been "a long trip and challenging couple of years."

"She's so strong and so responsible," Lisa said.

Anna's routine consists of taking insulin shots four to five times a day.

"Day-to-day, it's pretty tough, and I feel sick most of the time if I can't get to a perfect (blood sugar) number," she said. "But, I personally don't feel shots or finger-poking, so it's a lot easier now."

Since 2019, Anna and her family have participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to help raise money for the foundation. This year, due to COVID-19, Anna's family and other participants will have their own walk Oct. 10 beginning at Longhorn Bar. The walk will continue for a mile.

Anna said she loves the JDRF Walk because of the connections she's made.

"Knowing so many people are willing to walk with you is just amazing to me," she said. "I've met so many people who understand what you're going through."

Those walking will be sporting a tie dye shirt made by Anna herself. The shirts are $25 and available by messaging Lisa Hartline on Facebook. The shirt money was donated by Affordable Construction and Maverick Construction.

Lisa said she's proud to support her daughter during the walk.

"Her life revolves around a shot five times a day, so for one day a year, it's her way of feeling important," she said. "It's such a great walk."

Anna said it's important for her to remain positive despite her diagnosis.

"What helps me is having some good friends who understand it a lot better than most people," she said. "I try not taking it too seriously and I'm glad I'm not more sick than I am."

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