Heartland teen learns how to manage life after diagnosis


Elizabeth Moots performing at halftime with the Kirksville High School Dance Team. (KTVO)

Elizabeth Moots is the typical outgoing teenager.

Enjoying her freshman year of high school, she is a member of the Kirksville High School dance team, the color guard and even competed for the title of Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen last summer.

But her mother Stacy, noticed a change in her daughter’s day to day life.

“So I would come home every day after school seriously exhausted and crying cause I was so tired and I would just lay on the floor and then just try to eat something and I just couldn’t gain any weight I just continued to lose weight. Then we went to a pageant that weekend and the emcee, Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen who is also Type 1 Diabetes, she was talking about warning signs,” said Elizabeth Moots.

“And she was talking about frequent urination, rapid weight loss all these things and fatigue. Literally my gaze moved from her across the stage to Elizabeth. As she was talking I was wondering is this what Elizabeth has. That day her clothes had fallen off, her dress had gotten smaller and I had to pin it even tighter. For weeks, she was losing weight and people were speculating that she had an eating disorder,” said Moots’s mother Stacy.

Elizabeth’s health started to drastically change. Despite having an increased appetite, Elizabeth continued to lose weight and had friends and family concerned with the speculation of an eating disorder from her voice teacher Christine Gran.

“It was a month later that I received a message from Stacy letting me know that her daughter Elizabeth was also diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and the reason why that is significant because she is a voice student of mine and I was very very shocked. I thought Elizabeth was developing an eating disorder because she had lost weight and that’s a typical sign of diabetes,” said Gran who’s son Jason was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in October.

The Moots family was relieved to find the proper diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes after a 5 day stay at University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. Friends and family came down to Columbia to pay visit to Elizabeth including Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen Ashley Whipple, whose platform is “Just a Drop Type 1 Diabetes Awareness.”

“See I was stabilized overnight and so the next day, probably the other day would be okay to go home but they have to do a whole education plan where they teach you how to give insulin, count out carbs and how to balance out all of the different parts of the equation,” said Moots.

Living with Type 1 diabetes has been a challenge but her mother Stacy says she’s ready to start planning for the future.

“Acknowledging by the time that she is even in college, we’re hoping there’s something called an artificial pancreas that can just respond to what your body needs without even making any kind of adjustments manually,” said Moots.



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