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State Honoree

Sarah Anderson

South Dakota

developed and presents an illustrated talk about diabetes to audiences of all ages in her community. After being diagnosed with the disease at the age of 10, Sarah knew she had to tell her classmates. “It is impossible to hide diabetes in school,” she said. “Diabetics must check their blood sugar numerous times each day, eat an extra snack if they get low blood sugar, and sometimes even inject insulin.” Motivated by the success of her first talk, Sarah decided she could use her new-found knowledge to help others. She spent several months working on a longer presentation, adding illustrated posters and a display of diabetic supplies. Because she wanted the total effect to be an “upbeat” and positive one, she emphasized what diabetics could do rather than their limitations. Sarah also adapted her talk to encompass different age groups, and now presents her diabetes education program to other classes in her school district and numerous community organizations. “I feel diabetes education is important,” she stated. “Many people don’t know what to do if they see a diabetic have a reaction. Many also wouldn’t recognize the symptoms of diabetes in themselves or others. The sooner it is diagnosed the easier it is to treat and get under control.”