To get a little more educated about the condition, watch this video to learn six important facts about type 1 diabetes.
It’s time to paint the town blue tonight.
The Reppell Diabetes Learning Center and the Mountain Home High School Education Accelerated by Service and Technology (EAST) Initiative will hold a Blue Out Night to raise awareness for Type 1 diabetes at tonight’s Mountain Home football game. The Bombers will face the Sylvan Hills Bears at 7 p.m. at Bomber Stadium.
“The football game is to really celebrate our students, faculty and really anyone in the community that is dealing with or living with Type I diabetes,” said Jodi Bodenhamer, a certified diabetes educator, Registered Nurse and director of the Reppell Center.
High school students with the EAST program designed a special t-shirt for the evening, as well as a two-minute video that will be shown during tonight’s game. The group also designed a Blue Out Night Snapchat filter that can be used in proximity of the football stadium during the game.
The color blue or a blue circle is used as the symbol for diabetes awareness. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and World Diabetes Day is Nov. 14.
A patient with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin shots or use an insulin pump because their pancreas has stopped producing insulin, a hormone the body uses to break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common, and is marked high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and a relative lack of insulin. It primarily occurs because of obesity and a lack of exercise, with genetics playing a small role.
Bodenhamer said she hoped the Blue Out Night would help show that people with Type 1 diabetes can lead healthy and normal lives.
“Type 1 diabetes is different, and it’s not as common,” she said. “It’s not about being overweight or eating the wrong foods. That’s a common misconception.”
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A committee of five EAST students began working on the Blue Out Night not long after school began in August, EAST adviser Dani Pugsley said.
“As soon as I got back in school, I presented them with the project and they hit the ground running,” she said.
“When we asked them to help with this project, we didn’t know what this was going to look like,” Bodenhamer said. “This was just an idea that some people came up with. The kids have just taken what information I have been able to provide, and they have just done an absolutely fantastic job.”
The video filmed for Blue Out Night features several students and one faculty member. All of them have Type 1 diabetes.
The Blue Out Night shirt was designed by Mountain Home High School EAST students and 200 were printed for tonight’s football game against Sylvan Hills. a second run will be printed in the coming weeks, and may be ordered through the Reppell Diabetes Learning Center. (Photo: Submitted photo/Mountain Home High School EAST Initiative)
Kaitlin Callies, a student intern with the Reppell Center and one of the students featured in the film, said EAST students filmed her practicing with the Bomber Belles dance group for the video.
“The whole theme of the video is that you can lead a normal life and have Type 1 diabetes,” Pugsley said.
The Blue Out Night Snapchat filter available in the proximity of the football stadium includes “#Type1Strong” and “#Reppell” on the bottom of the image.
“You know kids, they love their selfies,” Pugsley said with a laugh. “Our goal is to really get the Reppell name out there. A lot of people are not aware of their services.”
Two hundred Blue Out Night shirts were printed for the events, and the Bomber Belles will be wearing them during the game. A second run of t-shirts will be printed in the coming weeks, and those interested in purchasing one may do so through Friday, Oct. 26 by contacting the Reppell Center.
“It’s just phenomenal to know there are that many people that are supportive and are willing to wear that,” Bodenhamer said. It’s not breast cancer awareness, it’s not something that a lot of people are familiar with. To know that are teachers, students and community are supporting those folks with Type 1 diabetes is awesome.”
The Reppell Center offers nutritional information, activity planning, medication education and social support, along with other topics of interest to diabetic patients. It is located at 624 Hospital Drive and can be contacted by calling (870) 508-1765.
On Thursday, Reppell Center staff and volunteers cooked up whole-grain, low-calorie English muffin French Toast for visitors to the Men’s Health Fair held at the Baxter County Fairgrounds.
“The smell — the cinnamon, the vanilla — really brought people in,” Bodenhamer said. “A lot of people with diabetes are intimidated by sweets, so we thought we would bring something out for the guys to try. And it’s really tasty; we want people to know that the (diabetic) diet is not something that has to taste bad.”
Mountain Home’s EAST programs will host an “EAST Night Out” on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the Vada Sheid Community Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. to display the projects students have been working on this academic year. The Blue Out Night video will be among the projects highlighted that night, Pugsley said.
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