Hays Medical Center is offering additional support to children with diabetes. On Tuesday, Hays Med is hosting “Telling my Story with Diabetes.” The event is targeted towards children 7-13 with type-1 diabetes, but everyone is welcome.
Tyler Kramer, a 15 year old with diabetes, will be speaking and facilitating the session. Kramer told Hays Post that he’s probably led between 10 – 15 support groups for kids with diabetes and he believes the lack of age difference helps him connect with other kids with diabetes.
“I’m a kid as well. I know when I go to an event and there’s an adult speaker, there’s just not really a connection with the diabetes because it’s different. Then, when the kids see me and I’m not that much older than them, and I talk about the same things we do like sleepovers, and eating junk food and going to music parks we do relate. By the end of the day I really get a feeling of who these kids are. It’s really a great feeling.”
He adds that kids see that he’s just a bit older than them so they see him more as a role model, which helps him connect with them.
“They look up to me and see that I’m doing well, so why can’t they do just as well?”
Kramer is an A1C champion. He said he started doing the program about 5 years ago. According to their website “A1C Champions® are people who have diabetes and have learned to successfully manage it. They have walked in your shoes and understand what it’s like living day-to-day with diabetes – and they want you to know that you are not alone in your journey with diabetes. Champions share personal diabetes stories, provide support and give practical advice to help motivate you to make healthy lifestyle choices and strive to reach your blood sugar goals. “
He states that he went through a lot of the challenges kids go through today. At first he was self-conscious about his diabetes, and did not want to be seen differently because of it.
“Then I realized that I’m not any different. I still have diabetes, but I’m just a normal kid. I feel like that’s what happens with a lot of kids that I talk to. I really try to get over that breaker that people need to know that you have diabetes if you’re gonna be around them. It’s really not something to look down on it’s something to embrace: be who you are,” he said.
The event is Tuesday August 13th at 5:30pm in Hadley Room 3. Kramer wanted to add “We’re going to talk about our experiences with diabetes. I hope to have as many people [as possible] there to come and share our stories together.”