Friday is World Diabetes Day

 You may have noticed the Local 6 morning crew was all wearing blue Friday morning. It’s because we are recognizing World Diabetes Day.

A viewer in Sikeston, Mo. asked Mike Mallory to wear a little blue pin to raise awareness about the disease. Erica Sawyer is 13 years old and three years ago she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She wrote a letter to Mike and said, “Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Yet diabetes is still seen as a disease to be joked about. Awareness is key to future advances, as well as a better state of mind for diabetics everywhere.”

Erica tells Mike the most frustrating part to her is that people think she got a disease because she ate too much sugar or she lives an unhealthy lifestyle. But that’s not the case. Erica has type 1 diabetes – as she puts it, “It’s just a gene.” Type 1 diabetes is a matter of your pancreas not producing insulin. That’s different from type 2, which can be managed by diet and exercise.

Erica wears an insulin pump and manages her disease well. She even plays volleyball in middle school.

You wouldn’t know a person suffers from type 1 diabetes just by looking at them. And some people we see on the big screen fight the same struggle as Erica Sawyer.

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